Amaliba: govt distressed by CHRAJ incident; I support calls to sack Commissioner

A member of the ruling  National Democratic Congress (NDC) legal team, Abraham Amaliba, has revealed government is unhappy by a recent case of waste of financial resources by Commissioner of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Lauretta Lamptey.

He also said calls by persons for the removal of the CHRAJ boss is appropriate.

“I support calls to sack her”, he revealed, but emphasised the need to follow due process.

Abraham Amaliba was speaking on Newsfile, news analysis programme on Joy FM and Multi TV Saturday.

Last Tuesday, it emerged that the Commissioner has in the last 33 months been paying what staff of the Commission say is huge funds on accommodation when the institution is severely cash-strapped.

Ms Lamtey’s African Union (AU) Village apartment cost the state $148,500 in 33 months of rent – 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 at a daily fee of $ $456.25 after checking out of the AU Village property, parried the claims that she has been extravagant.

She insists she does not own a property anywhere in the country, adding it was government responsibility to provide accommodation for her.

Although public disapproval of the amount spent on the Commissioner’s accommodation has been fierce, government is yet to state its position on the matter, although four civil society groups IMANI Ghana, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) recently said the expenditure was an open loot of the country’s financial resources. 

But on Newsfile Saturday, Amaliba revealed “government itself is not happy with what is happening at CHRAJ regarding this accommodation issue”.

“She did not take into consideration the austere period that we find ourself. As a government we find the President [John Mahama] and his appointees cutting down cost. They themselves sacrificing”, he said.

Mr Amaliba observed that had the CHRAJ Commissioner spent on her accommodation an amount that was  within her conditions of service, the issue would not have come up.

“Particularly for her at that institution CHRAJ, which institution is there to protect the pubic purse as in the case of with respect to their mandate”, he reiterated.

By law, the Commissioner, who has the same rank as an appeals court judge, should have spent  $330 a month on rent, and not $4,500.00 as Ms Lamptey has been paying for 33 montths.

Mr Amaliba uged those w ho are calling for the removal of the CHRAJ boss to pettion the President to do so.

  Story by Ghana | | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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