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General News of Monday, 6 August 2007

Source: GNA

No recommendation on Kyerematen's report- A-G

Accra, Aug 6, GNA - The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) said on Monday it had no recommendations on the case of impropriety brought before it against Mr Alan Kyerematen, former Minister of Trade and Industry.

A report made available to members of the Media through the Attorney General and Minister of Justices' office said, "Following the nature of the findings made in this investigation, the Commission does not consider it necessary making any recommendations".

Based on the no recommendation, the A-G said it could also not prosecute.

In May this year, Mr Kwesi Arthur, a former Board Member of the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), filed the complaint against Mr Kyerematen who is also responsible for the President's Special Initiative and Private Sector Development for a number of alleged wrong doings.

Joined in the complaint was Mr A. S. Bekoe, Director of Finance and Human Resource at the same Ministry.

Mr Arthur cited the two for alleged acts of impropriety in the management and administration of EDIF and grounded his petition on the Constitution on sections of the Whistleblower's Act 720.

There were seven allegations, which included rental of office premises by the new board for a sum in excess of US $140,000.00 per annum, which could have been used to buy land or premises for refurbishment.

The dissolution of the first Board of EDIF and it reconstitution by Mr Kyerematen to appoint Mr A.S. Bekoe as a Board member. The act according to the complaint constituted "Ultra Vires".

It also mentioned the alleged appointment of Mr K.M. Nkrumah as Director of Credit and Acting Chief Executive of EDIF after passing the compulsory retiring age as part of the complaint.

The Complainant also claimed that although EMPRETEC lacked financial capacity to honour its guarantees in favour of EDIF, various loans approval in excess of GHC20 Billion had been routed through EMPRETEC when its Balance sheet could not support a risk of $1.0million The CHRAJ report signed by Ms Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner, however stated "this investigation, being the first to be undertaken under the Whistleblower Act, 2006 (ACT 720), the Commission had observed a deficiency which ought to be corrected".

It said "Section 6 (3) of Act 720, read together with section 12 (1) (2) (b), gives the whistleblower a fairly good measure of protection.

" Section 6 (3) imposes an obligation on the person to whom a disclosure is made to keep confidential the disclosure and makes it an offence for failure to do so," adding that "section 12 provides a remedy to a whistleblower if he or she is victimized".

"However, no obligation of confidentiality is imposed on the person making the disclosure and the person against whom the allegation is made does not have a similar protection during the pendency of the investigation as happened in this case where the whistleblower publicized the alleged impropriety.

The Commission, the report said, was unable to determine what remedial action it could take.

Commenting on the obstacles encountered in the course of the investigation, CHRAJ said the Complainant's request for certain documents from the respondents, through the Commission occasioned some delay in the investigation due to the correspondence.

It said the complaints reference to some disclosures he had made to the media, culminating in the first Respondent issuing a press statement, followed closely by a Rejoinder by Mr J. B. Addae, former Chairman of the EDIF was equally disturbing.

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