‘Chop Chop’, Illegal Vote Transfers; Why Amadu Sulley Was Sacked
The immediate past Deputy Commissioner in-charge-of Operations at the Electoral Commission (EC), Amadu Sulley, was cited for a number of infractions at the EC including the illegal transfer of votes and embezzlement.
He has also been asked to refund some GHc 320,822 which went missing under his watch.
Other allegations that were leveled against him in 2017, include the financial exploitation of the political party primaries.
The report of the committee set up by the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo to probe the EC the three EC officials included its immediate past Chairperson and another deputy, recommended his removal from office, after investigating separate complaints brought against him by none other than her boss, Charlotte Osei.
The breakdown of the allegations and indictments are captured below.
The Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, outlined these breaches at a Press Conference on Friday morning.
1.Exploiting political party primaries
Amadu Sulley was said to have taken the political party primaries as a private commercial project.
Funds were paid directly into the personal accounts of key staff for functions to be performed for the party primaries.
After testimony the EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, the EC Director of Finance, Joseph Kwaku Asamoah, the Director of Elections of the NDC party, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, among others, the Committee established that the “NDC paid over GHS5 million in cash” for their primaries to the EC and the NPP paid GHS233,270 and GHC276,600 for its presidential and parliamentary primaries respectively.
Amadu Sulley was said to have “defied all the known prudent financial administration practices and took over five million cedis in cash and kept same in the custody of individuals.”
The Committee also found that “he allowed over GHS6 million received on behalf of the Commission to be handled in a manner that decries any reasonable and prudent accounting principles, leaving room for fraud and misapplication of the money. Though in the midst of investigations of how the money was managed the Commission opened an account for internally generated funds in December 2015, the deputy head of the Electoral Services Department was holding on to GHS360,000 in cash until 2016 when the Director of Electoral Services claimed it was deposited with the chief accountant for “safe keeping.” The Electoral Services Department, indeed, treated the political parties' primaries as a private project, the millions of cedis received for the purpose on behalf of the Commission were handled in a manner that threw all known sound financial management principles in any institution to the wind and that “there was gross financial mismanagement which opened the Commission to fraud and misappropriation of money.”
The Committee held that Alhaji Sulley demonstrated that “he lacks the skill and ability to perform his duties as the head and supervisor of the Commission's operations.”
The Committee also said that at least GHc320,822 remained unaccounted for the consumables used for the primaries of the political parties in 2015 and that up to date, the remaining GHS360,000 has still not been paid into the EC's account.
It was said the mone is with the Chief Accountant for 'safe keeping.'
2.Illegal vote transfers
It was alleged that Amadu Sulley had persistently instructed officials to carry out illegal vote transfers on the Voter Management System in clear breach of the law and operational policies of the Commission.
Chairperson Charlotte Osei gave evidence against Amadu Sulley, saying that when she heard that STL was effecting the transfer of voters from the Voter Management System, illegally, she received email evidence from STL of voter transfers done through the VMS by STL between 1st January, 2014 and 3rd and 4th September, 2015 to date.
When she confronted STL why they were doing so against the laid down procedures, the contractor said that all the transfers were “authorized” and showed “scanned copies of WhatsApp instructions to STL” from Amadu Sulley.
There were 17 such exhibits, with a list of the people to be transferred either through WhatsApp or handwritten notes bearing Alhaji Sulley's signature.
Though he denied the allegations, the Committee found that he wrote and signed orders and that the WhatsApp messages were from his phone.
The Committee found Amadu Sulley “culpable of misbehavior” as his conduct was held to amount to “abuse of his office.”
It therefore recommended that “the respondent Amadu Sulley be removed from office as a Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission for incompetency and misbehavior.”