CHRAJ Writes To Mahama Over Ford Expedition Gift

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has written to President John Mahama for his response to allegations of conflict of interest levelled against him by some political parties.

The letter, dated July 7, 2016, is in line with the (Investigations Procedure) Regulations, 2010 (CI) 67.

According to sources at CHRAJ, the President has 10 days after the date of the receipt of the letter to give his response.

CI 67

The acting Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr Richard Quayson, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Joseph Whittal, were both tight-lipped over the issue, emphasising that CHRAJ would not comment on the preliminary steps taken.

However, queries by the Daily Graphic to sources close to the commission confirmed that the letter had been written to the President in line with CI 67, the CHRAJ Act and the 1992 Constitution.

Regulation 5 (3) of CI 67 says: “Where the commission is of the view that further investigation is required, the commission shall transmit a copy of the allegation to and request a response from the (a) person against whom the allegation is made.”

The sources said the letter gave the President 10 days to respond, as outlined in Regulation 4 (a) and (b) which states that the person against whom an allegation is made shall submit to the CHRAJ, 10 days after the date of the receipt of the allegation or within a period that CHRAJ shall determine, his or her response.

The sources explained that when the person in question could not submit a response within the stipulated time outlined in the CI, he or she could request an extension of the time and that would be considered by CHRAJ for the time required to be given.

Context

On June 21, 2016, the National Youth League of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) petitioned CHRAJ to investigate President Mahama for allegedly receiving a Ford Expedition vehicle as a gift from a Burkinabe contractor, Mr Djibril Kanazoe of Groupe Kanazoe.

The petition was based on investigative reports by a journalist, Manasseh Azure of JOY FM.

Other parties, including the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), petitioned CHRAJ, while the Minority in Parliament also pushed for a parliamentary enquiry.

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