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Opinions of Saturday, 14 October 2006

Columnist: Abass, Fusani

Anane has resigned and so what?

Dr. Richard Anane Minister of Road Transport and MP for Nhiayeso constituency in the Ashanti Region has finally tendered in his resignation letter to H.E. President J.A. Kufuor after series of attacks from social commentators, opinion leaders, chiefs and a section of the public after CHRAJ issued its recommendation for the Minister to be relief of his post on counts of conflict of interest, abuse of office and perjury.

According CHRAJ Anane is not corrupt but accuses him of abuse of office, conflict of interest and perjury.

In the first place what is corruption? The Oxford dictionary defines corruption as a dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority. Ghana’s criminal code which is the important one here defines corruption in section 179 C. (Amendment) Act 1993, Act 458, as making use of public office for private profit or benefit – which is the basic definition of corruption- a criminal offence by the criminal code.

From these two (2) definitions, when a public officer is found guilty of corruption it means that s/he has abuse his office for private profit and has necessary conflicted his interest by making private money out of his or her official office. The accusations of CHRAJ by clearing Anane of corruption and indicting him of abuse of office and conflict of interest therefore defile logic and common knowledge.

Abuse of office, according to Anna Bossman the minister was sent on official trip with tax payer’s money and uses the official trip to engage himself in extra-marital affairs. So is CHRAJ saying that when one is sent on official duty or trip, you should not even buy food to eat, buy cloth food stuffs for the family and if you happen to meet a woman you want to marry if you are not married you cannot because if you do any of these you are abusing your office, since you do so at the time of your official trip.

We should all put politics aside and speak against this bad precedent that Anna Bossman and CHRAJ want to set.

Conflict of interest, where is the conflict of interest? I don’t sincerely see it. Dr. Anane met Alexander O’Brain at a conference and the woman introduce this project concerning the NHIS to Anane the then Minister of Health, the Minister in the interest of the whole country informed America Embassy in Ghana here and the Attorney General on the viability of the programme. He was advice that the programme the woman wants to introduce cannot work here, the Minister therefore advices cabinet not to approve the programme. It was three (3) months after that the Minister entered into a relationship with the woman. If the Minister really wants to conflict his interest, he would have definitely recommended the approval of the woman’s programme but as a good Minister he recommended that the programme being introduce by the woman should be cancelled.

Perjury is a criminal offence and the punishment for it is obviously not an apology as CHRAJ recommends that Dr. Anane should do. This means that CHRAJ is ignorant of whatever they were doing and had no ideal of what constitute perjury, the punishment for it and what institution has the legal right to charge somebody for perjuring himself.

CHRAJ has no legal right to charge Anane for perjury let alone to tell the Minister to apologize. What CHRAJ could have done is to recommend to the Attorney General to charge or prosecute Anane for perjury; even that article 121 clause (4) says that “An answer by a person to a question put by parliament shall not be admissible in evidence against him in any civil or criminal proceedings out of parliament.

What makes CHRAJ thinks that what Anane said before them is true but what he said before parliament is not true? There is even no case of perjury here, parliament ask the minister whether he has send US$45,000 in two (2) trenches to the woman and the man said no. How much have you sent to the woman and he said about US$10,000.

CHRAJ also ask the Minister, how much have you spent on the woman so far in total and he said about US$ 30,000 and you said that he has perjure himself by given different answers to different questions. BOGOS!!

In an attempt by CHRAJ to show that it can bite, CHRAJ in haste committed a procedural error by initiating investigation without been petitioned or any complainant. Article 218 of the 1992 constitution clause (a), (b) and (c) shows that CHRAJ shall investigate complaints and not to start investigation by itself.

CHRAJ instead of protecting human rights is now abusing human rights. Anna Bossman and CHRAJ should bury their heads in shame.

Fusani Abass – Wa

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