EC Boss sues lawyer for petitioners for defamation
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission has proceeded to court with a suit against the lawyer for some faceless petitioners to court.
Charlotte Osei is seeking damages from the court against Maxwell Opoku Agyemang, who on behalf of some unnamed workers of the Electoral Commission petitioned the president to remove the Chairperson of the Commission over stated misconduct.
In a suit on Monday July 24, 2017 and intercepted by Myjoyonline.com, lawyer for the EC Chair Thadeus Sory said the claims contained in the petition which were publicised both in the social and traditional media were false and dafamatory.
He has consequently asked the court to direct the defendant to retract the comments, and apologise for same.
The country was shocked last week Thursday with a 27-point petition pregnant with allegations of misconduct against the EC Chair.
The petition which was to trigger the full impeachment processes under Article 146 of the Constitution partly described the EC Chair as incompetent, corrupt, fraudulent and autocratic.
The petition, signed by private legal practitioner, Maxwell Opoku Agyemang stated among others, that the Chairperson of the Commission in many instances breached the Procurement Law in procuring goods and services for the Commission.
In what the petitioners claim to be a one-woman show, Charlotte Osei was alleged to have unilaterally and without recourse to procurement procedures engaged the services of lawyers, [email protected] who represented the Commission in the pre-election legal banter with aggrieved parties and disqualified flagbearers.
She was also alleged to have abrogated an existing contract with Super Tech Ltd. (STL), unilaterally renegotiating and re-awarding the contract at new sum of $21,999,592 without serious regard to the tender processes.
“The chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei unilaterally awarded a contract of about $25,000 to a South African company Quazar Limited to change and re-develop the Commission’s Logo under the guise of rebranding without going through tender contrary to the Public Procurement Act,” point 26 of the petition read.
Unhappy with the content of the petition and its publication in the media, Sory wrote to lawyer Opoku Agyemeng asking him to name the faces behind the petition so that they will be held individually and severally liable for the content of the petition, failing which, he the lawyer, would be held solely responsible.
Opoku Agyemang called the bluff of Sory and dared him to go to court. He has on behalf of his client.
In the suit, Sory said the defendant intentionally circulated or caused to be circulated the content of the petition even when the president was yet to receive the content of the petition.
By law the content of the petition seeking to trigger the impeachment of an Appeals Court Judge or a Commissioner is not to be made public at least until the president has received it.
Even before the president recieved it, the content was already in the public domain.
Sory is convinced the “false” allegations against his client were circulated with a malicious intent to lower the standard of the EC chair in the eyes of right thinking members of the public.
Apart from the damages, Sory is also seeking an injunction to restrain the defendant or his agents from publishing such defamatory content against his client.