CHRAJ has no basis to probe Ghartey report – Azeem

Leadership of the Appointments committee was exonerated by the ad hoc committee’s report[/caption] Anti-graft advocate Vitus Adaboo Azeem says it will be hypocritical on the part of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to further probe the bribery allegations against some members of Parliament’s Appointments Committee. “They would have no basis to go into it now,” he asserted. According to Mr Azeem, CHRAJ did Ghanaians disservice by not heeding to calls to investigate the issue when it first broke out in January. Mr Azeem, who is the immediate past Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, expressed these sentiments on Saturday, April 1 on TV3’s Hot Issues. His comments come after more controversy was stirred by the report of the five-member ad hoc committee tasked to look into the allegations. The report implicated Mahama Ayariga and cited him for contempt of Parliament. After being asked to apologise, Mahama Ayariga raised some concerns especially to with regard to the processes of the committee, a stance which plunged the House into some chaotic moments on Thursday. “The processes raised some eyebrows,” Mr Azeem also claimed. ‘Conflict of interest’ He indicated that the appointment of Joe Ghartey as the chairman of the five-member ad hoc committee was unacceptable, in the first place. Mr Azeem said as a nominee waiting to appear before the Committee, the MP of Essikado-Ketan should have recused himself as going ahead to chair the committee was a clear case of conflict of interest. Fast forwarding, for the report to have been silent on so many of the issues raised about the giving and receiving of money, Mr Azeem argued, is cause to worry. He said he was not surprised by the recommendations since Boakye Agyarko, one of the protagonists in the case, has since been passed by the Committee and even sworn in by the president as Minister of Energy. Mr Azeem said the closing remarks by leaders of the House that the image of Parliament has been salvaged by the report suggest what the committee sought out to achieve. Unfortunately, he argued, Parliament has not been able to purge itself. The Speaker’s verdict is expected to be delivered on Monday. Mr Azeem told host Winston Amoah that the report left much to be desired but unfortunately it will take another complaint for a body like CHRAJ to take issues up as it cannot out of the blue rubbish the report. “The processes are not clear enough for us to agree with the report,” Mr Azeem said.

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By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana ]]>