CHRAJ Commissioner: The state has an obligation to house me

Beleaguered head of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Lauretta Vivian Lamptey says it is the responsibility of the state to provide her with a befitting accommodation even though she is a native of Accra.

The Commissioner is being accused of ostentation and waste by some staff of CHRAJ. 

Ms Lamtey’s African Union (AU) Village apartment cost the state $148,500 in 33 months of rent; that; that is from November 2011 to April 2014.

Some of the Commission’s staff say as a native of Accra, Ms. Lamptey could have gotten a less expensive place to live in herself while her 10-year old official residence located on the Patrice Lumumba road, is being renovated.

But Ms. Lamptey, who is currently living in a hotel with her children after checking out of the AU Village property, parried the claims that she has been extravagant.   

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday, the CHRAJ Commissioner insisted that she does not own a property anywhere in the country. “I don’t have a house in Ghana. I don’t have a house anywhere else; I do not own a house,” she maintained.   

According to her, she lived in her mother’s house prior to her appointment as CHRAJ Commissioner but that house became unavailable because her mother had travelled to the United States for vacation and locked the place for two months.  

Ms Lamptey said it is the duty of the state to house her anyway.  

“The state has an obligation to house me whether I’m a native of Accra or…anywhere else. The job structure involves being housed; the compensation is based on ‘we are providing these things for you’.

Explaining why she left the AU Village apartment, the Commissioner said she packed out of the apartment to the uncompleted official residence in August to save the state from further entering into another six-month extension contract with the landlord. 

However, she realised there were problems with the supply of electrical power and water, a situation which again compelled her to look for another temporary accommodation, but at a “hugely discounted” rate, until those problems are sorted.

“The reason [for me] to be in a hotel was because of the flexibility of short term. I didn’t come into the hotel and say I’m renting it for a month; I came for three nights…” she indicated.

She has, however, been living in the hotel for weeks now.

Emile Short
Meanwhile, immediate past CHRAJ Commissioner, Dr. Francis Emile Short who occupied the building until his retirement said the renovation on the building was requested by Ms. Lamptey.

“As far as I can recollect these renovations were requested by the present Commissioner not me”.

Unwilling to further comment on the development for fear of being misunderstood, Dr. Short said the structure needed some patching-up.

 “It could do with some repair,” he said. Story by Ghana | | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | [email protected]

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