Bribery scandal leaves EC’s credibility in tatters
Yesterday, the national headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service announced that Prophet Daniel Nkansah, the self-styled Man of God and leader of the New Vision Party, who claimed to have bribed two leading officers of the Electoral Commission to register him to contest the 2012 presidential election, had surrendered.
At the time The Chronicle left the CID headquarters late in the afternoon, Prophet Nkansah was still being held. It was not known at the time of going to press whether or not the so-called Man of God had been charged. Officials were tight-lipped too on whether or not Prophet Nkansah would be processed for court.
Whatever the police do in this case, a fundamental case has been established against the Electoral Commission, over which it is obliged to come clean. We are told that Mr. Isaac Asomaning, Director of Elections, and Logistics Officer Mr. Emmanuel Asante Kusi, both king-pins at the Electoral Commission, insist they have done nothing wrong.
What is not in doubt is the fact that there was an exchange of money totaling GH¢1.6 million between Prophet Nkansah and the two personalities. The question that needs to be answered is this: At the time the Director of Elections and his Logistics Officer received that quantum of money from the so-called Man of God, what did they think they were doing?
Did they consider themselves as agents of a Susu Collection firm or what? Whatever their motives for receiving the money, it does not take away the fact that the bribery allegation compromises the independent stance of the Electoral Commission.
The Chronicle is unamused by the spider web of stories being woven around this matter. The fact is that two Electoral Commission officials received money illegally. It is not the norm that the commission charges for that kind of services to the general public.
We do not believe the incident is an isolated case. And no amount of gloss officials would want to put on the shameful episode, as it opens the EC up as an institution which could no more be relied upon to deliver the vote in an open and transparent manner.
Yesterday, The Chronicle agonised over the unfortunate development. In our opinion, the message out there is that the referee’s impartiality has been compromised, which should be a major headache to all Ghanaians.
Quite recently, the European Union announced that it would no more send representatives to Ghana to monitor the December polls. They premised their decision on their belief that after 20 years of conducting polls without blemish, the Electoral Commission could be relied upon to deliver a clean vote, devoid of rancour and bitterness.
The Chronicle is appealing to the European Union and other international agencies to be more concerned about the 2012 vote. The stakes are higher than initially thought of. We have a sitting government which has failed to deliver on its mandate, misused the scarce resources of state to the extent that its officials are scared of leaving the scene.
On the other side of the political divide is an opposition led by the New Patriotic Party that has sworn to remove the incompetent administration at all cost. All these make the December vote key to the forward march of this nation.
That is why we cannot afford to go into the elections with the credibility of the Electoral Commission at such a low ebb. We need the international community to monitor the vote to give Ghanaians the confidence to accept the results. The bribery scandal has left the credibility of the EC in tatters!
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