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Opinions of Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Columnist: Abdul-Rahman

How CHRAJ Is Failing Ghanaians

AN EXAMINATION OF "HOTEL KUFFOUR" SAGA

Recently, the Commission for Human and Administrative Justice published its preliminary findings on the "Hotel Kuffour" saga. According to the commission's report President Kuffour's son "Chief Kuffour" is the sole owner of the Hotel. The commission further concluded that the President did not use his son as a front man in his bid to purchase the said property, located right opposit his private residence. The commission further concluded that because of it preliminary findings of no case against the president, it is halting the investigations altogather, in other words the commission found no evidence implicating the President and his government in the hotel saga.

The finding of the commission came at no supprise to some us, because from the begining of the investigation it was clear that the commission's objective was not to investigate the matter, but to find a good way of covering up for the President. It is sad to say that since the Kuffour government assumed office in 2001, the Commission for Human Rights and Adminstrative Justice, which is suppose to act like an independent and strong office of the Ombusman for the people of Ghana have comprise its position as a watch dog for society and dragged it neutrality and independence in to the dirty gutters of NPP politics.

I will begin this piece with the kind of witnesses the commission paraded for the purpose of it grand sign cover up. Almost all the witnesses called before the commission are either members of the rulling party or people associated with the government. The Principal witnesses of the commission included Chief Kuffour, the son of the President, Anthony Saud is associated with ruling party, Mr. Saud's attorny and son in law is an NPP member of parliament, and among several others. The commission did not invite the key witness in the case ie Miss Gizelle Yajze, neither have they provided avenues for her to testify or provide her evidence against the president. The commission kept trumpeting in the ears of Ghanaians that their investigation is just preliminary and that she will be provided with such an avenue if the commission establishes a case against the president, and there is a full scale investigation, which the commission knew from the onset will never happen.

There are also conflicting testimonies of witness regarding the role of the woman in the negociation to purchase the Hotel. The woman's allegation that neccessitated the CHRJ investigaion was that she negociated for the purchases of the Hotel for the president, and that his son, Chief Kuffour was only a front man. When Kuffour's son appeared before the commission he testified that the woman was present during the negociations, but she was negociating for a certain Spanish entity. Then comes the testimony of the original owner of the hotel. He claimed that the woman did negociated, but she was negociating for herself. The role of the woman in the whole Hotel saga is yet to be known and be verified, but one thing is certain, she did play a role, and obviously the commission did not help Ghanaians establish the true facts surrounding the woman's role in the negociation. Also, what was Chief doing with Miss Yajzi during the negociation process, if she is, as he claimed, negociating for a Spanish entity. The only way the commission could establish the true role of the woman was to invite or facilitate a form of testimony from her. It is important to state here that in the proccedings against Dr. Richard Anane the commission did allow Miss Alexanderia O"Brian to testify via vidio conferencing. It is therefore very absurd, if not suspicious, that the commission concluded its investigation without talking directly to the key witness in the case. This goes to justify this writer's claim that the intentions of the commission was not investigate but to find every available loophole in the system to exonerate the president.

Another very serious indictment on the commission's report was that it failed to properly examine how the entire hotel deal was finance. While it may be improper to examine the sources of funding of every invester or potential invester in the country, it might have been very important if commission had questioned Chief Kuffour's source of funding. The reason is that Chief Kuffour is not only the son of a sitting president, but also he had no investment profile whether in or outside Ghana before his father presidency. All Ghanaians know about his profile was that he was an accountant with a corporate entity (Price waterhouse) in the UK. How a mere account, who five years ago couldn't afford to pay for the renovation of his father's private residence, was able to raise millions of dollars in down payment to morgage a hotel building is one of the misteries of modern ghanaian politics. What is more, all the banks engaged in the misterious deals were associated with state. In all these, and many others that this piece did not contain, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice found nothing wrong with the deal, and conclude that there is no need for a full scale investigation.

There is no doubt in this writer's mind that the commission's intentions was not to investigate but to provide the Kuffour led government a little political capital to boast with, having lost almost all of it. To some of us there was never an investigation, but a grand design to cover the ass of the president and perhaps some members of his government to prevent their asses from badly leaking into public view. Again, to some of us, it is infact very good that this cover up was done because the day of reckoning is fast approaching. and history will judge Kuffour. As did in the Achanpong's "libidinal plessures exchange for favours".

Abdul-Rahman
Ontario, Canada


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