The progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) finds the move by the minority in parliament to petition CHRAJ over the President’s involvement in the Merchant Bank saga totally unnecessary and a step that will not go far because CHRAJ as an anti-corruption agency has lost its relevance under the current leadership of Mrs. Lauretta Lamptey.
Our contention stems from the fact that Mrs. Lamptey was involved in a conflict of interest situation when she was on the board of the Ghana commercial Bank and head of the commission at the same time when issues involving the bank came up, upon which she resigned. This controversy has been the highest point (negative) of high leadership of the commission.
It is our contention that she has no moral right to sit on this case because of her closeness to this government which is evidenced by the reluctance on the part of the commission to investigate any corruption related matters since she took office. If the minority insists on going to the commission, we will suggest Mrs. Lamptey recuses herself for a proper investigation and hearing of the case.
The good people of Ghana will recall that on the 11th of January, 2010, the PNF petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice that, Dr Stephen Opuni, the Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Board, was engaged in suspected acts of corruption and conflict of interest situations. The former Commissioner, Justice Francis Emil Short, had the matter investigated and a dossier prepared.
The case was about to be called when he resigned his post. Dr Sipa Yankey, the former Minister of Health was to be called as a witness. Due to the resignation of Mr. Short, when Ms Anna Bossman took over, further investigations were carried out but the case could not be called before she also resigned. Note that this is a case in which PNF had a queue of witnesses including the former Health Minister, Journalist, Professors and many more who were prepared to bear witness.
CHRAJ as the leading anti-corruption institution has gone into oblivion since Mrs. Lamptey Took over. We doubt her capacity and sincerity to deal with a case of such magnitude and we caution the minority to tread cautiously if they insist on going to CHRAJ. Considering our past experiences with CHRAJ, it lacks the capacity and the will to deal with corruption cases.
Ghanaians will be better served if parliament through the minority or any other member who feels strongly about this Merchant Bank case evokes article Article 69 (1): The President shall be removed from office if he is found, in accordance with the provisions of this article -
(b) To have conducted himself in a manner -
(ii) Prejudicial or inimical to the economy or the security of the State;
Please note that the PNF on 4/11/2013 served parliament with such a petition which was served on the speaker, clerk of parliament, the majority and minority leaders. If PNF has no locus in impeaching the President, this is the chance of the minority to redeem Ghana from our President whose family and himself have turned into a corruption octopus devouring every state resource in sight.
Richard Nyamah (Spokesperson)
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