EC’s missing laptops a decoy to commit procurement infractions – Franklin Cudjoe

The President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has alleged that the five laptops the Electoral Commission (EC) reported missing are nothing but a decoy to declare the remaining machines compromised and set a procurement opportunity to waste money on new machines.

The Minority Caucus on Tuesday, March 19, alleged that seven biometric verification machines had been stolen from the EC’s custody.

The EC held a press conference at its head office on Wednesday, March 20, and explained that it was rather ordinary laptops that were missing and not BVDs as alleged.

In a statement urging Parliament and the Finance Ministry to stop any possible procurement as a result of the missing items, the IMANI Africa president said the extravagant $150 million expenditure incurred during the 2020 elections must not be allowed to repeat itself.

Below is Franklin Cudjoe’s full statement.

Parliament and the Finance Ministry should be careful with EC’s Spending Plans in 2024.

Ghana’s Electoral Commission is at its prancing and pranking best again. Having earned the dubious accolade of ‘ Voting mafioso’ for clandestinely disenfranchising my people in Santrokofi Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi on the eve of the last election in 2020, I was warming up to their recent calmness in accommodating sensible views of political parties on issues such as the use of indelible ink and closing polls at 5pm instead of the jocular and amateurish contrary views they held.

I knew something wasn’t quite right with the EC’s turnaround. It was just not in their DNA to be this graceful.

And voila- the EC surreptitiously reported to a parliamentary inquiry that it had lost some biometric voter machines that were procured by rigging procurement process, leaving the country with a needless total bill of $150m in 2020- which the IMF has now accepted contributed to our economic atrophy.

Sadly, we never heard the EC report the missing biometric voter machines to the Police until an innocuous question at a parliamentary hearing revealed this fiction yesterday.

Please, Parliament and the Finance Ministry, must ignore the EC. Claims of missing biometric voting machines is a decoy to declare the remaining machines compromised and set a procurement opportunity to waste money we don’t have on purchasing new machines.

They did the same in 2020 by strangely discarding all biometric machines which Ghana had invested up to $60m in upgrading and successfully used to run the 2016 general elections and 2019 district elections with near zero error rates, to purchase new overpriced biometric machines through a heavily rigged procurement process.

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