A Supreme court judge, Justice Joseph Akamba (right), congratulating Ms Geogina Opoku Amankwa on her appointment as the new Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission, at the Supreme Court in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
A Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice Joseph B. Akamba, has advised the newly appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission (EC) to use the opportunity given to her to serve on the commission to straighten up any challenging areas of its work.
Ms Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, who replaces Mr Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, took the oaths of allegiance, office and secrecy before serving commissioners, family members and friends when she was sworn into office yesterday.
The office of deputy commissioner of the EC became vacant following Mr Kantanka’s retirement this year.
Ms Amankwaa’s appointment is in fulfilment of Article 70 (2) of the 1992 Constitution which mandates the President to appoint the chairman and deputy chairmen of the EC on the advice of the Council of State.
Justice Akamba said the deputy commissioner’s training as a lawyer was very relevant to the EC, following events of the last presidential and parliamentary elections, adding, “This should assist you tremendously in your new position.”
“The lawyer’s calling demands research and hard work which will be equally needful in this job assignment. Your position is a constitutional position recognised under Ghana’s Constitution and so it is a very honourable position you hold and you need to call in all your experiences to deliver appropriately,” he said.
Ms Amankwaa, the first female to occupy the position of a deputy commissioner of the EC, adds to a long list of women occupying sensitive positions in the country, including the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood; the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marrieta Brew-Appiah, and the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ms Lauretta V. Lamptey.
Meanwhile, blazing the trail as the first woman to occupy a position is not new to the trade unionist.
In 2012, she became the first woman to be elected chairperson of the TUC.
The EC came under a barrage of attacks after the December 2012 elections.
Some of its officials were not spared, but that would not deter the new deputy commissioner.
Ms Amankwaa acknowledged that her new position was a sensitive one which “touches the heart of every Ghanaian. Therefore, diligence in decision-making and good conduct are necessary”.
“Every decision affects the very fabric of the Ghanaian society. The EC had worked well over the years but being a human institution, I cannot say it is perfect,” she added.
She pledged to team up with other members of the EC to enhance the “good image of the commission. That is important to me and is also a key priority”.