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Opinions of Friday, 30 December 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

CHRAJ boss appointment must be revoked, pronto!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
December 21, 2016
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

I am not a lawyer, much less a constitutional lawyer, to presume to take up the technicalities of the subject at hand. But it clearly appears to me that having decisively lost the mandate of the electorate to “Toaso” with his pathologically partisan political agenda, President John Dramani Mahama has mischievously resorted to what may be aptly termed as a scorched-earth governance tactics aimed at hobbling the Akufo-Addo Administration before the President-Elect has had the chance to put his imprimatur on the letterhead of the Jubilee-Flagstaff House. One move that typifies such strategy is the eleventh-hour appointment of Mr. Joseph Whittal as Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (See “NPP’s Complaint Over New Appointments Valid – Kofi Abotsi” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 12/21/16).

The appointment is both prejudicial and suspect because President Mahama has had at least a couple of years, perhaps even more, to have appointed a substantive CHRAJ Chair/Commissioner, instead of allowing Mr. Whittal to perform in an acting capacity for so long, well after the last CHRAJ Commissioner who had been appointed by the late President John Evans Atta-Mills had been let go over accusations the most salient of which had to do with the reckless spending of the taxpayer’s money for the primary benefit of the last CHRAJ Commissioner before Mr. Whittal was named to the same post, and not for the general upkeep and/or improvement of this most important human and civil rights institution.
It is quite obvious that naming Mr. Whittal to the post of CHRAJ Commissioner, with only three weeks before the expiration of President Mahama’s mandate, was clearly not intended to facilitate the remarkable enhancement of leadership probity, accountability, justice and equity in the notoriously corrupt Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Rather, it is meant to utterly frustrate the efforts of the incoming Akufo-Addo government to significantly improve the quality of life of the ordinary hardworking Ghanaian citizen.

But even more significantly, it well appears that Mr. Whittal is being named the substantive Commissioner of CHRAJ at this time both in a nose-thumbing gesture towards President-Elect Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and as a reward for Mr. Whittal’s rather curious decision to fault Mr. Mahama for having inappropriately taken a bribe, in the form of a Ford Expedition SUV, from Mr. Djibril (Gibril) Kanazoe, the Burkinabe contractor engaged by the erstwhile Mills-Mahama government, while at the same time drawing the flagrantly illogical conclusion that the then-Vice-President Mahama did absolutely nothing wrong.

In other words, as an Acting Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr. Whittal has scandalously demonstrated that he woefully lacks the level of competence and integrity required for the evenhanded performance of the duties of CHRAJ boss. As of this writing, Mr. Philip Addison, the lawyer who represented then-Candidate Akufo-Addo in the 2012 presidential-election petition before the Supreme Court, had a legal suit pending against President Mahama. Whatever the outcome of the aforesaid lawsuit may be, it is quite clear that the man being forced upon President-Elect Akufo-Addo is a dyed-in-the-wool Mahama partisan who can only be counted upon to frustrate age-old efforts by President-Elect Akufo-Addo to make Ghana a morally and legally equitable society for all its citizens and residents.

It is therefore imperative for the Court to ensure that the soon-to-be President Akufo-Addo is afforded the maximum level of freedom to make his own choices of executive operatives for the smooth-running of the country and efficient management of the people’s business.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

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