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25 June 2016

Car gift: Mahama will submit to CHRAJ probe – Apaak

presinet mahama2President John Dramani Mahama is willing, capable, and ready to subject himself to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to be probed for his acceptance of a Ford Expedition vehicle gifted him by a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, who has been given a series of contracts by the government of Ghana, Dr Clement Apaak, a presidential staffer has noted.

According to him, for as long as the body is a constitutionally-created one mandated to look into matters of this kind, Mr Mahama, who is a respecter of the rule of law, will at any material time subject himself to it, as far as the car gift is concerned.

CHRAJ has been petitioned by the youth win of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) as well as a private citizen, to institute a probe into the president’s acceptance of the gift, a development the petitioners believe puts the president in a conflict-of-interest situation. CHRAJ has acknowledged receipt of the petition to investigate the president.

A Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal, said last week: “I can confirm that the commission has received a complaint, or an allegation, in written form from the National Youth League of the CPP at 10:55am. …Another petition has come in from an individual called Nana Adofo Ofori.”

Mr Whittal indicated that the petitioners “contend that it is a matter that is a conflict of interest for the president, so, we [CHRAJ] should investigate and come out with our findings to clarify the air for Ghanaians and we are set to do that”.

Speaking in an interview with Prince Minkah, host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Friday June 24, 2016, Dr Apaak said: “They [the petitioners] have every reason to exercise their right. Our position is that we have explained the situation, we believe the explanation is sufficient, we believe the issue is much ado about nothing, we believe that no wrong has been done, but if they feel they are not satisfied, of course they may want to go the court. If they want to go to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, they should go, if they can identify another entity constitutionally-created that they feel they should go there to seek redress, it is entirely within their right as enshrined in the constitution to seek redress.”

He added: “I emphasise and restate the president has said himself that he is willing, capable, and able to subject himself, as and when there is the need for him to appear before any constitutionally-mandated body insofar as this issue is concerned, but we maintain the case is a rumour, it’s a baseless accusation, it is not going to distract government from pursuing its agenda of transforming and improving lives and transforming Ghana.”

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