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General News of Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Source: GNA

I was absolved of allegations - Anane

Accra, Feb. 26, GNA- Dr Richard Winfred Anane, Presidential nominee for re-appointment as Minister for Transportation on Tuesday explained that he has been absolved of the allegations leading to his resignation from that ministerial portfolio.

In a close to three hours' appearance before the Vetting Committee of Parliament in Accra, Dr. Anane said a Supreme Court verdict had cleared him of the allegations of findings of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), which led to his resignation in October 2006 to contest.

The Commission, in 2006 made findings of perjury, conflict of interest and abuse of power against the Witness, who is also the MP for Nhyiaeso in the Ashanti Region, but the in-coming Minister, said the case ceased to exist once the Supreme Court expunged it from its books.

Dr. Anane told the Committee that, if there were any lessons from the process of the case against him, it was the victory of the rule of law. "In so far as the legal systems are concerned, the things that were not cleared have been cleared," he said.

The Minister designate, who had also held the Health portfolio, said he was ready to serve in whatever capacity the President appointed him. When asked whether, from "his heart of hearts," he wanted to serve again as the Minister of Transportation, Dr Anane said the question was difficult to answer, but added that he would serve in that capacity if the President wanted him to do so.

He added that, he did not know why the President decided to give him back the Ministry of Transportation.

He stated that he did not lie to the Vetting Committee when he first appeared before it for which the CHRAJ made a finding of perjury against him.

Asked whether he would resign again to contest findings of allegations, Dr Anane said; "my reaction will be in reaction to the merit of the allegation."

He dismissed a suggestion that his continued stay in a Minister's residence, despite having relinquished his position was a drain on the taxpayer's money, explaining that his continue stay in that premise was because he had not been given any residence as MP.

Moreover, he said, he footed utility bills from his own resources. Dr Anane initially declined to comment on the upkeep of a son he had with an American mistress, explaining it was a personal problem.

He however, later said he had been remitting his son in Florida, USA, but his lawyers had streamlined the remittance for the upkeep of his son, and not as a gift.

The Minister designate answered also questions on problems road construction, and announced that the Ministry was streamlining the operations of contractors to avoid shoddy work and get value for money.

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