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General News of Wednesday, 21 December 2016


NPP’s complaint over new appointments valid – Kofi Abotsi

The complaints of the incoming New Patriotic Party (NPP) government over President John Mahama’s appointment of new Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Commissioner could be valid.

The Dean of the Faculty of law at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Kofi Abotsi, “exercising this power at this point in time certainly raises a lot more questions that are hard to answer.”

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Abotsi indicated that “there must be a certain level of harmony between a sitting government which appoints a commissioner and the purpose of the mandate the government wants to churn out.”

Though the CHRAJ boss is not expected non-partisan, the law lecturer said the reality on the ground indicated that the newly appointed CHRAJ boss, Joseph Whittal, could remain attached to the outgoing National Democratic Congres (NDC) government.

“He [Mr. Whittal] doesn’t hold any loyalty or doesn’t pay and patronage to anyone. But others will argue that that is theoretical. In this country, where the reality of patronage characterises all appointments and people who are appointed, they extend to exhibit a certain level of attachment to the people who appoint them.”

“Some would argue that the appointment of the CHRAJ commissioned is a very powerful and a very influential option that should be reserved ordinarily to a substantive government even if the commissioner is not going to pay homage or atone tenancy.”

President Mahama has subsequently been sued by Lawyer Philip Addison who believes the President erred in his recent appointments and is thus seeking to restrain him from using his last days in office to make such decisions.