The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is protecting the president against suits in relation to the Ford gift saga, a member of pressure group OccupyGhana, Sydney Casely-Hayford, has alleged.
According to him, “CHRAJ has done a poor job and this [report] was a whitewash to try and give the president an opportunity to try and block anything that anyone comes up with to try and sue him further and it is not good enough.”
CHRAJ has said not only did its investigation into allegations of bribery, fraud and conflict of interest brought against Mr Mahama in connection with the SUV gift exonerate the President, but also brings closure to the matter.
After close to four months of what CHRAJ describes as extensive investigations, the commission said President Mahama only violated the gift policy regime for public officers.
It is recalled that the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the Youth Wing of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), and a private citizen petitioned CHRAJ to have Mr Mahama investigated after he received the Ford SUV from the contractor who was in turn awarded government contracts.
Reacting to the verdict on Citi FM’s The Big Issue on Saturday October 1, the social commentator insisted that there was more to the issue and the president could not be vindicated since he violated the gift policy.
For him, Mr Mahama did not like to face the reality that he erred in his acceptance of the gift.
The Financial Analyst maintained that Mr Mahama was not an honest person and charged him to face facts and be candid with Ghanaians.
CHRAJ stated in its report that upon inspection, the investigators noticed that the vehicle had been “customised” (i.e. re-fitted) with security gadgets, including machine guns and ammunition. The investigators also noticed that the vehicle uses different numbers at different times as part of security measures.
Mr Frank Niiti, Special Assistant, Logistics and Operations at the Flagstaff House, Kanda, assisted the commission with information on the use of the Ford Expedition.
He said: “Ever since the delivery of the vehicle to the castle, it has been used solely for the provision of security for presidential and other VIP convoys.”
Mr Casely-Hayford did not understand how such a vehicle from a private person would be used for such purpose even though the original manufacturers did not intend it for that.
“So, we have a situation where our president drives around town with a war mentality,” he alleged.
He continued: “We credit ourselves as a peaceful and growing democracy that respects the rule of law or orderliness but behind the scenes we are preparing for war with some unknown assailants. Why was the Ford mounted with machine guns? Why this one in particular?” he questioned.