Open Letter to Mrs. Jean Mensa

Open Letter to Mrs. Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana By One Volta Group December 26th, 2018

Dear Mrs. Jean Mensa: The One Volta Group (OVG), a civil society organization that advocates democracy, rule of law and the fundamental human rights of Ghanaian citizens, wishes to register its strongest condemnation of the Ghana Electoral Commission (EC) under your chairperson-ship.

The democratic process is based on the idea that citizens or groups of citizens should have the right and opportunity to participate in making important national decisions. The Electoral Commission is the agency delegated the authority to oversee and organize the orderly conduct of this exercise.

Its core mandate is to be fair and provide an even playing field for all participants in the process regardless of the positions the participants may hold. An Electoral Commission must be seen to be fair, impartial and be a neutral arbiter in the process.

Dear Mrs. Mensa, it is our assessment that the Ghana Electoral Commission is anything but neutral or even-handed in this very process. The Ghana Electoral Commission is organizing the impending referendum (i.e. to create 6 new regions) as if its marching orders are to do all it takes to create these regions.

The expectations are that EC would conduct a fair and orderly exercise of the polls no matter what the results turn out to be. It is our view that Ghana’s democratic credentials (on the African continent) have been tarnished under your watch.

We draw your attention to the following:

* The One Volta Group approached the EC Headquarters more than a month ago to submit an application for accreditation as an interested group in connection with the polls to determine whether there is substantial need to create “the proposed Oti” out of the Volta Region. A receipt was issued accepting this submission.

However, frequent and subsequent checks with the EC headquarters was met with the response, “we are in the process of creating accreditation guidelines; please check back later.” Several of these encounters were with your Deputy Chairperson Samuel Tettey.

While you deliberately continued to frustrate OVG, you clandestinely conducted a sham exercise to recruit agents for the “YES” and “NO” sides of the upcoming referendum. You intentionally stalled our request to exercise our constitutionally mandated democratic right. 

Your conduct as an elections organizer is rather undemocratic and shameful to say the least. We recognize that you were appointed by the current Ghanaian President, Nana Akuffo Addo who openly declared his support for creating new regions out of some of the existing regions in Ghana.

We also recognize that you probably feel compelled to assist him by any means necessary to achieve this goal. However, we wish to remind you that your primary responsibility is to Ghanaians. That is to serve as a fair nonpartial election/referendum organizer. In our eyes, this ethical responsibility has been shamefully compromised.

* Because of your desire to disenfranchise us as an interested group in the referendum, several members of OVG filed a suit in the Human Rights Court on December 24, 2018.

The purpose was to place an interlocutory injunction on the EC and furthermore demand that all interested persons and groups in the Oti referendum be treated fairly. You were personally served the injunction, by a bailiff of the Human Rights Court, at the EC premises at about 12 noon the same day. Shortly thereafter, on the same day, you issued a hasty press release denying that you had been served an interlocutory injunction. This clearly demonstrates unprofessional behaviour and does provide additional evidence of your unethical conduct in dealing with the Ghanaian electorate.

* According to CI 109, issuance of accreditation to interested groups should be completed four days prior to the referendum. In this instance, that four-day period came to an end on Monday, December 24th, the day of our suit.

One would have thought our suit would have highlighted the need for you to act professionally. Instead you further displayed your clandestine characteristics by sending a directive to the District EC offices to issue accreditation to interested groups. This directive went into effect on December 25th, a public holiday. The issuance of accreditation continued through Wednesday, December 26th, less than 24 hours before the referendum. This directive is in clear violation of CI 109 which governs the Oti referendum as it falls outside the 4-day provision prior to the election. Such lawless conduct emanating from the offices of an election organizing agency is a travesty.

* While the EC headquarters stalled and lied to OVG representatives, several of our members who sought accreditation at the District EC offices as polling agents and officers were humiliated, assaulted and turned away. Meanwhile you accredited agents of the “YES” side and handpicked sham agents for the “NO” side. Mrs. Mensa, we believe that as a lawyer you must be well aware that it is criminal to plant sham polling agents for one side in a referendum, while a legitimate duly recognized civic organization had been knocking on your doors to receive accreditation. Ghanaian democracy deserves a more ethical leadership than you are providing in this instance.

As your disingenuous press release stated on December 24th, the lawless conduct of the Electoral Commission continues unabated. You intend to continue and hold a sham Oti referendum in total disregard of the court injunction served on you by a bailiff of the High Court.

We are, however, not deterred. We believe that Ghanaians are paying attention to the high-handed conduct of Ghana’s electoral business under your watch. Hopefully, human rights groups, both local and international, will pay scrutiny to the abuses that have characterized the referendum process in the proposed Oti Region under your watch.

One Volta Group

Peter N Abotchie (Member)

Julius Badu (Member)

Kossi Nutekpor (Chair)

Publish on Apt

Do you have any Social, informational, educational or entertaining stuff that should be featured on

Please submit your stories, pictures, and videos to us via WhatsApp: +233548388489 or click on the icon on your screen. Alternatively, email us:

RSS APO Group – Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa

  • New social compact, transformative leadership will quicken Central Africa's economic diversification December 8, 2021
    Download logoA new social compact characterised by permanent dialogue between political and economic leaders and ‘beneficiaries’, would catalyse economic diversification in Central Africa, said some of the continent’s leaders from various fields, Monday. “We need to think big and small at the same time by shifting from our obsession for foreign direct investment to creating […]
  • MINUSMA condemns the attack which killed 7 peacekeepers in the Central region of Mali December 8, 2021
    Download logoThis morning, a MINUSMA logistics convoy hit an Improvised Explosive Device between Douentza and Sévaré on the Nationale Road 16, in Bandiagara region. Seven peacekeepers were killed, and three others seriously injured. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of MINUSMA, Mr. El-Ghassim WANE, strongly condemned this cowardly attack and stresses […]
  • U.S. CDC Celebrates 20 years of Saving Lives in Nigeria December 8, 2021
    Download logoThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) celebrates the 20th anniversary of its establishment in Nigeria. The Nigeria country office was established in November 2001 to support the government of Nigeria to improve disease surveillance systems, build institutional competencies, and expand human resources for health capacities. At the 20th anniversary event, U.S. Embassy […]
  • U.S. Consulate, Partners Train 100 Police, Civil Defense Officers on Countering Gender Based Violence December 8, 2021
    Download logoOn Wednesday, the U.S. Consulate General concluded a three-day capacity building program for 100 police officers and civil defense operatives as part of efforts to counter gender-based violence in Nigeria. Supported by the U.S. Consulate General, the workshop was organized in partnership with the U.S.-based International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the […]
  • Coronavirus- Botswana: The U.S. Government Donates P2.9 million in COVID Isolation Facilities in Bobonong December 8, 2021
    Download logoThe U.S. government, through its Department of Defense (DoD), donated two isolation facilities worth over P2.9 million to the Botswana government in a handover ceremony in Bobonong.  The two facilities, constructed through the U.S. military Africa Command’s (USAFRICOM) Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid program, will support critical pandemic mitigation efforts in the region. […]
  • ECOWAS volunteers programme concludes 8th regional coordination council meeting December 8, 2021
    The ECOWAS Commission through the Department of Social Affairs and Gender has organized the eighth meeting of the ECOWAS Volunteers Programme Regional Coordination Council (EVP-RCC). The EVP was established in 2004 with the support of African Development Bank and the United Nations Volunteer Programme to build a pool of young men and women from the […]
  • WHO South Sudan conducts a consultation meeting with the Ministry of Health to review the draft 2022-2023 biennium plan December 8, 2021
    Download logoThe World Health Organization (WHO) South Sudan Country Office held a consultative meeting with the senior management of the Ministry of Health on 6 November 2021. The aim of the meeting was to align WHO workplans for 2022-2023 biennium with country priorities.  WHO plans in two-year cycles (biennium) with the current biennial plan 2020-2021 […]
  • Leadership nuggets to drive the implementation of industrial and economic diversification strategies in Central Africa December 8, 2021
    Download logoA high-level debate on the role of transformative leadership in implementing industrialisation and economic diversification strategies in Central Africa ended at the Kintele International Conference Centre near the Congolese capital, Brazzaville, Monday, with appeals for political predictability, adequate infrastructure, especially in energy provision, and a better segmented private sector. High-level speakers also laid emphasis […]
  • UN's top Envoy in South Sudan urges parties to make a fresh push for peace December 8, 2021
    Ahead of his briefing to the United Nations Security Council next week, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, is urging political leaders to make a fresh push to fully implement the peace agreement so that free, fair, and peaceful elections can be held. Speaking at a press conference in the […]
  • Parliament acts against sexual abuse of young athletes December 8, 2021
    Download logoThe Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture will no longer ignore the abuse and inappropriate violation of young athletes in South Africa. As a result, the committee has resolved to host a workshop on abuse, especially sexual abuse, against athletes. The Committee also called on sport federations to revisit their policies on sexual […]
About Editor 625 Articles
Joe Bright Nyarko Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.