The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) is threatening to petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over revelations that President John Mahama received a Ford Expedition gift from a Burkina Faso businessman, Djibril Kanazoe.
The businessman went on to win two contracts worth about GH¢100 million from the government, according to an investigative report by Joy FM’s Manasseh Azure-Awuni.
The PPP contends that the gift amounted to a bribe and says it is considering petitioning CHRAJ to rule on the matter.
Here are three instances when Ghanaian public officials were dragged before CHRAJ:
1. Kufuor residence saga
In 2001, Mr Alban Bagbin, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of parliament, filed a petition at CHRAJ asking the commission to investigate the use of public funds to renovate and refurbish the private residence of President Kufuor in 2001 by Mr Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, then chief of staff, and Mr Kwamena Bartels, former minister of works and housing.
He asked the commission to investigate allegations of financial impropriety against President Kufuor as well, since the two ministers acted on his behalf.
Mr Bagbin said public funds were used in the renovation of the entire building of President Kufuor and as such the President should also be investigated, citing Article 287 and 288 of the Constitution that grants CHRAJ the mandate to investigate Public Officers. The commission threw out the case.
2. Anane case
1n 2005, CHRAJ began an independent investigation into what it called media allegations of corruption and conflict of interest against the minister for roads and transport, Dr Richard Anane.
After an 18-month investigation, the commission came to the conclusion that Dr Anane had committed perjury by misleading its panel while under oath that he had remitted $30,000 to his mistress, whereas in a prior testimony before a parliamentary select committee during his vetting as minister in 2005, he told members that he had only remitted $10,000.
It also made findings of abuse of power, conflict of interest and perjury against Anane, and recommended to President JA Kufuor to relieve him of his office.
3. Muntaka case
1n 2010, a pressure group, Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF), asked CHRAJ to investigate Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, the then Sports and member of parliament for Asawase, for alleged fraudulent acquisition of a German visa for one Edith Zinayala under the pretext that she was an employee of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, when Ms Edith was an employee of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
It also accused the minister of corrupt acts, such as buying of tickets for himself and his family, allocation of vehicles to himself, buying of mouth wash and other detergents at the expense of the tax payer.
The group further alleged that Muntaka had travelled with his girlfriend to Cote d’Ivoire, using the services of a spiritualist and buying meat and other gifts for his constituents using public funds.
The commission, however, cleared the minister of the charges.