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General News of Monday, 26 August 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Contracts for sale: Conflict of interest clearly defined in constitution – Lawyer

A private legal practitioner, Clara Kasser-Tee, has said conflict of interest is clearly defined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, contrary to the views of an ex-CHRAJ boss, Emile Short.

“A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of the office,” the constitution states in Article 284.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, the law lecturer at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) said this is a clear definition of what conflict of interest is.

Also, she said Act 29 of the Criminal Act makes it a crime for a public officer to put himself or herself in a situation where their personal interest would conflict with the performance of their duty.

Earlier on Friday, however, former chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ ) and former High Court judge, Francis Emile Short lamented on Adom FM that, conflict of interest is not defined in the constitution, neither is the scope.

But Kasser-Tee believes it is defined. She added that the constitution does not need “to go ahead to ingrain the scope.”

The common law, she said “is not lacking” in that aspect.

Their comments follow allegations of corruption and conflict of interest leveled against the Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority, Adjenim Boateng Adjei.

Freelance investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, in a documentary revealed how the embattled CEO used his company, Talent Discovery Limited, to bid for government contracts and sell same.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has since suspended Mr. Adjei and petitioned the CHRAJ to investigate him.

The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has also written to the suspended CEO to report to his office next week.