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General News Wed, 27 Feb 2008

Anane is back

*Shoddy contractors watch out

dr. Richard Winfred Anane, former Minister of Transportation and MP for Nhyiaeso, says he sees his re-appointment by President Kufuor to the Transportation Ministry as a challenge to confront the teething problems bedevilling road construction in the country.

Dr Anane, who was facing Parliament’s Appointments Committee for confirmation or otherwise of his re-appointment yesterday, said he only wanted the opportunity to be of service to this country.

Minority Leader and the MP for Nadowli South, Hon Alban Sumani Bagbin, wanted to find out from Dr Anane whether he wanted to be the Minister of Transportation.

“If it is the President’s wish that I serve in that capacity I am ready to serve”, Dr Anane stressed, noting that he was always prepared to play any role the President wanted for him.

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“When you resigned on October 1st, 2006, to the best of your knowledge has there been any Minister of Transportation”? The Minority Leader asked, and in his answer, Dr Anane told the Committee that “Mr Chairman I think there have been Acting Ministers and there is a Minister of State in that capacity and I believe they have been doing their work”.

He expressed the opinion that he does not have the competence to tell the Committee why there hasn’t been a substantive Minister for Transportation since he left, insisting that President Kufuor was the only person who could answer that question.

He explained that just like the Coach of a football team the President has the sole responsibility to select his players to play in certain positions on the football field and that he wouldn’t know why the President chose him to serve in the Transportation portfolio, stressing that in any capacity he is asked to serve “my first orientation is that I know nothing I go to learn”.

Again, when asked what he is reported to have said before the Committee of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) that CHRAJ said he had perjured, Dr Anane said he was confounded, especially when CHRAJ came out later to say that they never investigated him (Anane) for perjury.

He maintained that the question the Committee asked him on his last vetting was how much of his personal money he had transferred to his son in the US, saying he gave the answer as $10,000 and that in a similar questionnaire given to him on the same mater by CHRAJ he gave the same answer.

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When the Minority Leader wanted to know whether Dr Anane would resign if somebody raises the issue with CHRAJ again, he said he would consider the merits of the matter before taking a decision.

Hon Julie Azumah, NDC MP for Ho East and Adaklu-Anyigble, on her turn, asked Dr. Anane if he was still remitting Ms Alexandra O’Brien for the upkeep of his son, Dr. Anane initially refused to answer the question, saying he would want to keep his family issues private.

However, when the Chairman of the Vetting Committee, Mr. Freddy Blay insisted that he answered the question, he said he has given the matter to his Lawyers to streamline the modalities in which his child would be remitted properly.

On questions bothering on the quality and cost of roads and to payments that were made to contractors, he said he would, when given the nod, ensure quality of work before contractors are paid and that bad contractors would be weeded out of the system.

Dr. Anane resigned on October 1, 2006 from his position as Minister of Transportation after CHRAJ found him guilty of abuse of power and of conflict of interest. He was however found innocent of corruption charges.

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CHRAJ recommended that Dr Anane be removed from office for committing perjury by misleading a CHRAJ panel whilst under oath that he had remitted $30,000 to his mistress, while in a prior testimony before a Parliamentary Select Committee during his vetting as Minister of Road Transport in 2005, he told members that he had only remitted $10,000.

Dr Anane subsequently resigned his post to contested CHRAJ’s decision at the High Court where the Commission’s decisions were quashed.

CHRAJ also challenged the decision of the High Court at the Supreme Court. But by a 4-1 majority decision, the Supreme Court on October 30, 2007 dismissed their application for certiorari, which sought to quash the High Court decision overturning the Commission’s decision.

Source: gye nyame concord