Our Who Am I ? for this week will not feature a personality as is usually the case, but an important government institution that played a pivotal role in the just-ended presidential and parliamentary elections.
It is an important institution because for anyone who aspires to be a President or parliamentarian, this institution has to see to it that free and fair elections are conducted.
There is an act in the Constitution for this institution to manage the conduct of all public elections and referenda and handle all matters directly related to the conduct of elections in the country.
Because of the important role it plays, it has to be neutral. This is to ensure that the institution is not forced to tilt towards any particular authority. Article 46 of the 1992 Constitution states that in the performance of its functions, this institution should not be subjected to the control or direction of any authority except as provided in the Constitution or any other law not inconsistent with the Constitution.
The top hierarchy of the institution consists of a chairman, two deputy chairpersons and four other members. The Constitution provides that these members should be appointed by the President.
And do you know what? Not anybody can be appointed to be a member of this commission. For one to qualify to be a member of this commission, the person should qualify to be elected a member of Parliament.
The members of this institution are so important that their terms and conditions of service are clearly spelt out in the Constitution.
In the case of the chairman for instance, his or her terms and conditions of service are the same as those of a justice of the Court of Appeal, while those of the two deputy chairpersons are the same as those of a justice of the High Court. For the other four members of the commission, the Constitution provides that Parliament may determine the allowances to be paid to them.
To help you with more information, the late Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe was the first interim commissioner of this institution. Its current Chairperson is Mrs Jean Mensa. What is the name of this institution?