Things are the same at CHRAJ – Deputy Commissioner

Deputy CHRAJ Commissioner, Joseph Whittal, says allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds at the Commission is “a non-issue” for the Commission.

Mr Whittal also revealed that the arrest of the Head of Treasury at the Commission, Sonny Eric Adinyira, Thursday by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has nothing to do with the alleged rot at CHRAJ.

A chain of corruption allegations at the Commission followed revelations that its boss, Lauretta Vivian Lamptey, expended huge sums of money on her accommodation – an amount critics say was far in excess of rent allowance for a public official of her rank.

The 2012 Auditor General’s report has indicted the human rights commission for violating the Public Procurement Act in the controversial acquisition of accommodation for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice boss, Lauretta Lamptey. 

According to the Auditor General’s report, various purchases amounting to 34,994.89 Ghana cedis were not routed through the stores before use, in violation of the Store Regulation, Act 0502.

Ms Lamptey is also alleged to have presided over a list of illegal activities including a failure to refund to government chests an amount of 89,551.79 Ghana cedis resulting from overstatement of funds for the payment of personnel emolument.

Also, a total of 52,384 Ghana cedis of withholding tax has not been submitted to the government by CHRAJ for three years.

Government has directed the Auditor General’s Department to initiate a special audit into activities of the commission, a move Mr Whittal says he fully welcomes.

For more than a week now, major news outlets in Ghana have been dominated by these corruption allegations at the Commission, prompting speculations that this would affect the morale of staff at the human rights and administrative justice supervisory body.

But Mr Whittal said that is not the case.
“The staff are working the way they have been working. In fact it is like a non-issue at the Commission even though we appreciate the nuances and the concerns of the public”, Mr Whittal noted.

Speaking on Top Story on Joy FM Thursday, the CHRAJ Deputy Commissioner said the arrest of Sonny Eric Adinyira – which had previously been linked to the corruption allegations at the Commission – has nothing to do with the Commission.

He claimed Mr Adinyira was not even in charge of CHRAJ’s accounts in his capacity as second in command at the Commission from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.

“We had a Chief Accountant, also from Account General’s Department”, he clarified.

He also discredited claims that top officials at CHRAJ, including himself, were being investigated in connection with the corruption allegations.

“There is no such investigations. No Deputy Commissioner is being investigated, or being invited by anybody”, he said.

Frank Annor-Dompreh, a Member of Parliament’s Special Budgets Committee, who has petitioned President John Mahama to relieve the CHRAJ boss of her duties, says he is uncovering even more evidence that indicates that top officials at the Commission are involved the alleged malfeasance.

“I keep getting fresh and fresh evidence to the effect that what is happening at the CHRAJ goes beyond the CHRAJ boss”, he said.

He has promised to call a personal press conference next week to tell the world what he has uncovered.

Listen to the entire discussion on the attached audio below:

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

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