The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability ASEPA, says the decision by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to discontinue bribery allegation investigations against the Chief Justice is a violation of their constitutional right and may seek legal redress.
Addressing the media in Accra, Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson said the fact that it petitioned two entities does not warrant CRAJ to stop its investigation saying the two petitions were different.
ASEPA, in July petitioned CHRAJ to investigate allegations of a 5 million dollar bribe paid to the Chief Justice, justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.
But CHRAJ later said it could not continue with the investigation because ASEPA had also petitioned the Presidency.
Mensah Thompson said CHRAJ has violated their constitutional right .
He said “when it was brought to CHRAJ’s attention that another petition has been filed in another forum did they write back we the petitioners drawing our attention to to the double action and put us to our election to stay one of the actions.
“Where in the CHRAJ Act does it say that an action commenced in the same matter in another forum automatically truncates an ongoing investigations by CHRAJ”.
“We contend that the President should not interfere with this constitutional process and must stay with his function. A prima facie determination is not a full-scale investigation. We cannot afford to allow needless doubts and shadows of corruption to hang on the neck of the judiciary, let alone the Chief Justice. It is in this vein that we have taken this step.
“We hope that the principal actors clothed with the responsibility to bring finality to this matter ensure that they keep this at the back of their minds in furtherance of the utmost preservation of the judiciary and democracy. As for CHRAJ’s report, there is a very high likelihood that we will challenge this action in court”.
CHRAJ had declined to act on a petition filed by ASEPA against the Chief Justice because the think thank had petitioned the Presidency for the same reason.
CHRAJ said “Whilst it may be conceded that the complainant in the instant matter before the commission did not claim, as a specific relief, the removal of the respondent, it is discernible from its invocation of Article 146 that, that is the ultimate destination of the complainant.
“The procedure for the removal of a Chief Justice having been specifically provided for in Article 146, it is our considered view that the provisions of the said article take precedence over the general provisions of Article 218.”
By Evelyne Tengmaa|3news.com|Ghana