Sophia Akuffo, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, has reacted to the brouhaha surrounding the appointment of three new commissioners of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday, March 20, 2023, swore-in three new members of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) at the Jubilee House.
The three new members of the EC, Dr. Peter Appiahene, Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani, and Reverend Akua Ofori Boateng, are expected to serve in their new roles till the end of the 2024 elections and are replacements for members of the commission who recently retired.
Akufo-Addo has been heavily criticized for the appointment because some of the appointees are said to be known members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The president is being particularly berated for the appointments of Dr. Peter Appiahene, who is said to be a patron of TESCON, the tertiary education branch of the NPP, and Salima Ahmed Tijani, whose family relations are leading members of the NPP.
Reacting to this in an interview with TV3 on Wednesday, Sophia Akuffo said that the possibility of conflict of interest should be considered when it comes to the appointments of public servants.
She suggested that appointments to the EC must be made in such a way that no party will be disadvantaged.
“There are standards for the public service… and conflict of interest is something that always can be dealt with, whether it is written in black and white or not… and conflict of interest does not necessarily have to be actual; it can be potential.
“… in doing the right thing in public service, a lot of it depends on public perception, and I think when it comes to something to do with national elections and so on, public perception is very important.
“Everything in this world that you can arrange in such a way that the dealings are at arm’s length is better than somebody’s arm is twisted and another person’s arm is in their pocket,” she said