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January 24, 2018 | Opinions Editorial

The EOCO Adventure, Matters Arising

Daily Guide
The EOCO Adventure, Matters Arising

The story about the Economic And Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the operation it carried out at the Electoral Commission (EC) was as dramatic as it was seismic under the circumstances.

It made the headlines because of the foregone attributes. It is a subject which has prompted the intervention of lawyers with varied interpretations all of which, unfortunately, were anything but complimentary of the action.

It is a hydra-headed subject; its EC links making it even murkier and exposing an anomaly which must be addressed so the continuing breach of the constitution can be halted.

As an agency reporting directly to the Attorney-General (AG), the action which we have learnt had all the trappings of somebody manipulating the system to his advantage, has posted legal shortcomings and therefore not commensurate with its status as a specialized agency which should be strong enough to ward off avoidable interferences from interest personalities or even outfits.

Being the first time that such a breach occurred, we are not pushing for any form of sanction against the agency but rather exposing a serious aberration with a view to avoiding a future recurrence. Suffice it to point out though that appointees should steer clear of the agency so that it can deliver upon its mandate and avoid such image denting adventures.

The hullabaloo which greeted the action is one still fresh in our memories and warrant elaboration: the President would not condone such breaches especially when they are committed by his appointees; his strict adherence to the constitution an obsession.

Those entrusted with the task of managing agencies of this status should do well to avoid such scenarios by standing up to the manipulative inclination of appointees who abuse their proximity to the corridors of power to do things which would not inure to the good of the image of the government.

When the EOCO boss stands its grounds in matters which border on breaches, he would have sent a strong signal that he does not brook nonsense because after all, he is answerable only to the Attorney General and not to any of the appointees on the corridors of power.

We have taken note of the strides made by the anti-graft agency since the current Executive Director was given the baton of office to manage the place. The Georgina Opoku Amankwaah imbroglio was just not good.

Without seeking to delve into the matter before the Chief Justice's empanelled committee probing the EC we lest we are contemptuous of it, we wish to point out, however, that the current state of the election managing body is a sore requiring urgent treatment.

Almost now a laughing stock, the commission is in breach of its constitutional standards requiring that it holds a meeting every couple of months. Since it was dragged into its current state of lethargy, as it were, nothing seems to be working there.

The long term effect of the spanners in the wheels of the commission, as is the case now, is obvious.

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