Jean Mensa done no wrong; Akufo-Addo dismisses ASEPA sack petition

President Nana Akufo-Addo has dismissed a petition by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) for the impeachment of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa for not filing her assets and liabilities on time after her appointment as the head of the election management body, as required by the Constitution.

A letter to ASEPA’s Executive Director Mensah Thompson from the President’s Executive Secretary Nana Asante Bediatuo, said: “By letter dated 15 July 2020, the Chief Justice conveyed his determination of whether or not there was a prima facie case”.

“The Chief Justice found that the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) did not make any finding that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, had committed any criminal offence.

“Furthermore, the CJ did not find any statute that criminalises the non-declaration of assets within the time stipulated in the Constitution”, the letter said.

It also noted that: “The Chief Justice then determined that no prima facie case has been made by your petition to warrant the impeachment of the Chairperson of the EC”.

“In any event”, the letter added, “CHRAJ did not find any adverse findings against the Chairperson as the investigation was terminated and the complaint dismissed after the Chairperson declared her assets on 17 February 2020”.

“Accordingly, I am directed by the President to inform you that your petition has been dismissed”.

ASEPA earlier called on Mrs Mensa to resign for failing to declare her assets upon resumption of office.

ASEPA, in a statement, said if Mrs Mensa failed to willingly resign, it would petition the President to sack her for breaching a constitutional mandate, which the civil society organisation eventually did.

The earlier resignation demand followed findings by CHRAJ that Mrs Mensa did not comply with the mandatory assets and liabilities declaration requirement of public officers in accordance with Article 71 officeholders.

“Jean Mensa took office on 1 August 2018 and as of the time we filed our [CHRAJ] petition on 12 December 2019, 16 months after taking office, had failed to comply with the provisions of Article 286,” ASEPA said in a statement.

“We believe Jean Mensa is not fit to lead the Electoral Commission of Ghana into a major election when she is compromised and has demonstrated a clear disregard for the Constitution that empowers her,” it added.

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