Accusations that a Ford Expedition car was given to President John Mahama by Burkinabe contractor Djibril Kanazoe, who has subsequently been given a series of contracts by the Government of Ghana, put the country in bad light on the international scene, Mr Emile Short, a former head of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has stated.
Mr Short indicated that the allegation was also bad for Mr Mahama’s reputation, but failed to state in clear terms whether the action of the president constituted an act of corruption.
Mr Short, who stated this in an interview with Emefa Apawu on Class91.3FM’s 505 News programme, was of the view that: “It is a serious allegation that affects the image of the president as well as the country.”
“In light of the fact that divergent views have been expressed about whether the gift is a bribe or not, I would not be surprised if the matter goes to CHRAJ. It is a matter of public interest, which affects the image of the country.”
Meanwhile, Majority Leader Alban Bagbin has said the Progressive People’s Party’s decision to lodge a complaint with CHRAJ over the issue is their right but cautioned that they would be expected to provide evidence that the gift amounted to corruption. The PPP has set Thursday June 23 for the filing of the petition.
President Mahama has come under fire for receiving the gift although government has explained that the car has been added to the fleet of vehicles at the presidency.
The PPP insists the president has violated Article 284 of the 1992 constitution, which calls on public officials to desist from taking gifts, which could influence their decisions.