Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Anti-corruption body, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), has expressed disquiet over the failure of the committee that probed allegation of abuse of office leveled against the suspended chairperson of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ms Lauretta V. Lamptey, to release its findings.
The committee was set up by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood.
“The continued silence of the committee and the Chief Justice on the matter seems to be telling Ghanaians that the judiciary could be going down the same lane as the executive,” Vitus A. Azeem, Executive Director of GII, said in a statement yesterday.
According to GII, “The committee was set up because justice needed to be served and the commissioner needed to be given the chance to be heard. However, the long silence is worrying and many Ghanaians may give different interpretations to this silence.”
It averred, “If Ms. Lauretta V. Lamptey has been cleared, she should be restored to her position as the commissioner of CHRAJ; and if she has been found guilty, the necessary sanctions should apply. Justice cannot afford to be delayed, especially by the Judiciary.”
GII said it was calling on the Chief Justice “to display the independence and the incorruptible nature of Ghana’s judiciary by releasing the report, if it is ready or by informing Ghanaians why the investigations have still not been concluded. This is the only way to go if the judiciary hopes to maintain its credibility.”
In the view of GII, “It is unacceptable for any arm of government to yield to political pressures when it comes to addressing governance issues, but it is even worse when citizens perceive the judiciary to yield to such pressures or even fall victim to other factors such as corruption in its various forms.”
GII noted that the Mahama-led administration yielded to ‘pressures’ to investigate allegations of corruption and other types of malfeasance against various public officers and mentioned the Judgment Debt Commission, the Brazil 2014 Commission, EOCO investigations into the operations of GYEEDA and “the so-called investigations into the Subah Info Solutions saga.”
It said that most of the commissions of inquiry “have taken longer than expected to carry out their investigations, often for no obvious reason.”
The statement pointed out, “Even when the delayed investigations have finally been completed and the reports submitted, it takes a lot more time to take action on the recommendations of these commissions.
“Sometimes, no action is taken at all on the recommendations and public officers that have been indicted remain in their positions, monies stolen remain unrecovered and recommended prosecutions never take place.”
It said that the inaction by the president on reports of commissions of inquiry and other investigations might be attributed to factors including “political pressures from party financiers and faithful who are indicted.”
“Pressures may also come from involvement of people high up in the party or government who feel threatened by further revelations if action is taken against the indicted officers or who feel that their indicted tribesmen should not be penalized for the improprieties or possible benefits of the ruling party from the improprieties.”
“We need to know why they have been cleared or found guilty. The reports must be published and the Attorney General should take the necessary action against those who have been indicted,” the GII insisted.