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CHRAJ probe committee to present report next month

The five-member committee investigating complaints of abuse of office against the suspended Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ms Lauretta Lamptey, is set to present its findings later in September this year.

Checks by the Daily Graphic indicate that the committee, chaired by a Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice Anin Yeboah, is receiving written addresses from counsel for the petitioner, Mr Richard Nyamah, and counsel for Ms Lamptey, the respondent.

The committee was set up in January this year after the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Wood, had established a prima facie case against the embattled commissioner.

Per the prima facie case, the CHRAJ boss is guilty of the accusations after preliminary investigations until there is a contrary proof.

But eight months into the probe, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) is worried at the delay in the release of the report.

It has, consequently, called on the government to release the report on the investigations.

Complaints

The committee is investigating complaints of serious misconduct, inappropriate exercise of office, serious misjudgement, breaches of the law and public trust against the CHRAJ boss.

A petition by Mr Nyamah of the Progressive Nationalists Forum (PNF) and Mr Frank Annor Dompreh, the Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, to the President sought the removal of the CHRAJ boss, following investigations by the Daily Graphic that uncovered trails of staggering expenditure by Ms Lamptey on her accommodation at the African Union (AU) Village, the cost of renovation of her official residence and her hotel bills, all at the expense of the state.

Committee

The committee is made up of two justices of the Supreme Court, an Appeal Court judge and two other members whose appointment is based on the advice of the Council of State.

They are the chairman, Mr Justice Anin Yeboah, Mr Justice A.A. Benin, a Supreme Court judge; Ms Justice Mariama Owusu, a Court of Appeal judge; Mr Edwin P.D. Barnes, a former Chief Director of the Ministry of the Interior, and Brigadier-General Fuseini Iddrisu.

With the position of Commissioner of CHRAJ being equal to that of a judge of the Court of Appeal, the procedure for Ms Lamptey’s removal from office can only start with credible evidence of corruption and abuse of office from the Chief Justice’s investigations.

Constitution

Article 146 (3) of the 1992 Constitution states: “If the President receives a petition for the removal of a Justice of a Superior Court other than the Chief Justice or for the removal of the chairman of a regional tribunal, he shall refer the petition to the Chief Justice, who shall determine whether there is a prima facie case.”

Even before the Chief Justice constituted a panel to begin full investigations into the complaints, the CHRAJ Commissioner had stated that she was “very disappointed by the fact that the Chief Justice has determined that a prima facie case has been established against me, which, therefore, needs further investigation”.

 

 

Source: graphic.com.gh

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