To many, President Nana Akufo-Addo, only selected the Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, (IEA) Jean Adukwei Mensa as the new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), on the claim of competence and impartiality, but those familiar with the subject, revealed it was because the highly respected Prof. Joy Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, had turned down the appointment.
The President was racing against time after waiting and hoping the revered lawyer will change her mind and accept the EC top job and salvage the mess the government had plunged itself into with the removal of Mrs. Charlotte Osei, and attracted international bashing led by the American ambassador to Ghana, Robert Porter Jackson.
The Herald gathered from multiple sources that, Prof. Mensa-Bonsu, had diplomatically thanked the Akufo-Addo government for the consideration, and politely declined the job.
From family friends and colleagues in academia, The Herald gathered that the senior lecturer, explained that she wanted to retire quietly from public life and concentrate on writing books to enhance the frontiers of the legal education in Ghana.
Prof. Mensa-Bonsu, also wanted to spend time with her loved ones, especially her loving husband with whom she is often seen at North Legon-Accra in early morning exercises to keep fit.
The Herald learnt that, had she accepted the job offer, President Akufo-Addo, would have made the announcement last week.
Mrs. Jean Mensah, is clearly the last option for the government. Indeed, her name did not come up ever during the government’s consideration.
Already, Prof. Mensa-Bonsu, a Yale University scholar, has authored several law books and publication on Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Family Law and Children’s Rights among others which have become reference materials for many lawyers and students of law in Ghana.
But many suspect that, she has decided to stay away from the job to protect her hard earned reputation. Already there are two lawsuits and an injunction on the President in the Supreme Court over the removal of Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her possible replacement. They insisted Prof. Mensa-Bonsu would have been a fair-minded EC boss compared to Jean Mensah, if she had taken up the job.
Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, is at the Supreme Court fighting the committee that recommended the removal of Charlotte Osei, from office.
Mr Baako’s suit was followed by one other from a Ghanaian, Ms. Fafali Nyonator, challenging the processes leading to the removal of Mrs. Osei and her two deputies.
Aside the Supreme Court case, the Council of State, has also been put in a tight corner to condone President Akufo-Addo’s seeming lack of respect for the Rule of law by endorsing the nomination of Jean Mensah, who is also a lawyer, as the new EC boss.
With a phony petition and a closed door hearings by committee whose members have been rewarded with a Supreme Court appointments, things are looking untidy for the Akufo-Addo government.
On Monday, July 23, 2018, the Presidency announced the nomination of the Executive Director of the IEA, Jean Adukwei Mensa, as the new Chairperson of EC.
Other persons nominated for appointment by President Akufo-Addo to the Commission included; Samuel Tettey for the Deputy Chairperson, Dr. Eric Asare Bossman also as a Deputy Chairperson and Adwoa Asuama Abrefa as a Member of Commission.
Jean Adukwei Mensa’s appointment has been greeted with mixed feelings, citing her closeness to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), her political utterances, her husbands’ membership of the NPP, his several appointments on NPP government-engineered jobs, including the VALCO chairmanship, acquisition of state lands from the Kufuor government, as well as financial engineering jobs and ties to a company called Chemu Power Limited.
Both Dr. Eric Asare Bossman and Adwoa Asuama Abrefa, have been described as dye-in-the-wool supporters of the ruling NPP.
Those who know Adwoa Asuama Abrefa, said her NPP credentials have never been in doubt. She is said to be the wife of one Lawyer Tony Forson.
The Herald last week Friday, reported that barring any last minute changes, President Nana Akufo-Addo, is set to appoint a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana (UG) Political Science Department, to fill one of the vacant spaces left at the Electoral Commission (EC).
The Herald, intercepted information to the effect that, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare, was penciled down by the President to assume the position of a Deputy Electoral Commissioner.
He was said to be very excited and was finding it very difficult to keep the news to himself by keep his mouth shut.
The Political Science lecturer, whose analysis has always favoured the governing NPP, was said to be telling his colleagues in the department, he has been called by the Flagstaff House to ready himself to fill one of the spaces left behind by either Amadu Sulley or Georgina Owusu Amankwah.
But his colleagues at the department are in a state of shock, questioned how the government arrived at such a decision, because they say they know him to be a very strong NPP man, whose argument and analysis are always skewed towards the party.
They argue they cannot vouch for his neutrality on EC, as they know he will compromise that position as far as elections are concerned.
Interestingly, the government, went ahead and nominated Dr. Eric Bossman Asare.
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