Barely a day after President John Dramani Mahama’s lawyer, Tony Lithur, hailed the outcome of investigations into his client’s acceptance of a Ford gift from a Burkinabe contractor, a presidential staffer, Dr. Clement Apaak, has said he disagrees with the aspect of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice’s (CHRAJ), report, indicting the President of breaching the ‘gift policy’.
On Thursday, CHRAJ released a report ostensibly exonerating the President of any wrongdoing in the Ford gift saga, following a petition by the youth wing of the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
CHRAJ however noted that, the President breached the gift policy, when he accepted the gift.
The CPP youth wing was demanding a probe into the conduct of the President when he accepted the gift from the Burkinabe contractor as Vice President in 2012.
The group believed the President’s action constituted conflict of interest, but CHRAJ cleared him of that.
But speaking to Citi News, Dr. Apaak, who once worked for a CSO that promoted good governance and transparency among others, contended that, a holistic assessment of the situation shows that President Mahama did not even breach the gift policy, since the gift was declared for public use.
According to him, “if he [Mahama] had taken the gift and applied it to personal use or if he had applied it for family use, then he could be accused of breaching that aspect of the gift policy… Instantly, he gave directive for the gift to be put to public use and that is what we expect from the people we have decided to lead us as our representatives.”
“The fact that he never put this personally his use or public use, in the layman’s point of view, it is something that is commendable and should exonerate the President of all claims and all accounts as has been indicated by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice’s (CHRAJ) report,” he added.
Mahama can’t be trusted – Petitioners
Despite President Mahama coming out of the CHRAJ probe relatively unscathed, the youth leader in the CPP, who initiated the petition to CHRAJ, Ernesto Yeboah, believes the outcome of the probe shows the President cannot be trusted to protect the sanctity of the country’s laws and policies.
Speaking on CHRAJ’s findings on Eyewitness News, Mr. Yeboah said the breach in police on the President’s part constituted failure on his part to respect and protect policies that serve the interest of the country.
“We elected him to protect the constitution of Ghana now he failed in doing so . The man who is occupying the highest office of the land cannot be trusted..He has a track record of breaching policies regarding gifts in this country.”