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General News Mon, 8 Aug 2016

Ford gift saga: CHRAJ commences investigations

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has commenced preliminary investigations into petitions it has received over the controversial US$ 100,000 Ford vehicle gifted President John Mahama.

This followed Presidents Mahama’s recent denial of the allegations of conflict of interest in accepting the car in a letter to CHRAJ.

The Youth League of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and a private citizen petitioned CHRAJ with claims of conflict of interest against the President and called for an investigation into receipt of the gift.

The Head of Public Relations and Communications for CHRAJ, Comfort Akosua Edu in an interview with Citi News said the outcome of the preliminary investigation would determine the Commission’s next line of action.

“We did an initial assessment of the petition to find out whether it fall under CHRAJ’s investigative mandate and when were satisfied, the commissioners appointed some investigators to do the preliminary investigations into the matter and that is where at the moment,” she said.

Background

President Mahama came under intense public criticism for accepting the Ford gift worth about US$100,000 from a Burkinabe contractor, allegedly to influence him. The Burkinabe admitted giving President Mahama a Ford Expedition vehicle, for which the President called to thank him.

The gift, according to reports, was prior to an attempt by the contractor, to win a bid to execute the Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road construction project. The same contractor had also been contracted to build a wall, at a cost of over half a million dollars, for the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou.

Mahama’s letter to CHRAJ

President Mahama, in a letter signed by his lawyer, Tony Lithur, asked CHRAJ to dismiss the allegations of conflict of interest. In the letter addressed to the acting Chairperson of CHRAJ, President Mahama held that he was innocent of all the allegations levelled against him.

Source: citifmonline.com
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