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EC Chief Caught In Age Scandal

Hajia Sa-Adatu Maida

One of the members of the Electoral Commission (EC) has come under intense pressure to come clean on her actual age.

Hajia Sa-Adatu Maida has been accused of reducing her age by three years, implying that under the law, she is supposed to have gone on retirement in her capacity as a member of the commission as at June 2018.

The woman, whose father is said to be former National Democratic Congress (NDC) chairman in Tamale, allegedly changed her age from her official records, claiming that she is less than 60 years presently.

Probe Letter

The issue is being raised by Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, one of the lawyers for the EC staff, who triggered Article 46 of the 1992 Constitution that led to the dismissal of EC Chairperson Charlotte Osei.

The lawyer, through a letter, reportedly enquired from Hajia Maida about her actual age, but the commissioner is insisting that she has not attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 which requires her to vacate her position at the EC.

According to sources, the lawyer insists that Hajia Maida presented 5th June 1958 as her date of birth to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), which implies that she is currently 60 years and ought to retire from the commission.

SSNIT Errors

However, the commissioner is fighting back, saying her date of birth on her official records is 5th June 1961 and supposedly accused SSNIT of not entering the right date of birth in her records with them.

As a result, she has written to SSNIT to correct the anomaly without delay.

“By letter dated the 23rd of July 2018, a copy of which is attached hereto together with its attachments, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, Esq wrote to me requesting that I retire from the Electoral Commission of Ghana on the basis that I attained the age of 60 on the 5th day of June, 2018,” Hajia Maida reportedly wrote in a letter dated July 31, 2018, to SSNIT.

She said in the purported letter that “Mr. Opoku- Agyemang’s letter substantiated his call for my retirement from the commission by reference to a document purported to have emanated from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust described as my statement as at July 24, 2018, in which document my date of birth is wrongly recorded as the 5th day of June, 1958 instead of my true date of birth, which is the 5th day of June 1961.”

Official Documents

“I must emphasise that my true date of birth, which is the 5th day of June, 1961, is recorded in all my official documents ranging from my birth certificate to my passport and also reflected in other institutions where my personal details are required and kept,” she explained in the letter to SSNIT.

It said “from the document attached to Mr. Opoku-Agyemang’s letter, it’s plainly obvious that the Trust got my personal details wrong, as it erroneously records my date of first employment as the 1st day of January, 1900, which is about 61 years before I was born and even at a time when the Trust, in its present form, was not in existence. I contributed for 52 months in the year 1982. This clearly is an impossibility.”

She, therefore, asked SSNIT to “take steps to correct the records accordingly to reflect my true and proper date of birth, as well as other errors on my statement, and have attached a copy of my birth certificate for the necessary action.

Interestingly, her purported birth certificate, which captures her true age, was procured on 31st August, 2000.

Read about the latest twist in the age drama in tomorrow’s DAILY GUIDE.

By William Yaw Owusu

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