General News of Friday, 16 January 2015
Suspended Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Lauretta Vivian Lamptey has clarified that her predecessor Justice Francis Emile Short was the one who commissioned the renovation of the official residence of the state agency, and not her.
“The renovation was initiated and commissioned by Mr Short, not by me,” Ms Lamptey told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Yankson on Friday January 16, 2015.
“The contract was awarded in 2010. I met the property being renovated…it was being renovated and it was on the point that’s prior to my time, and I think that’s also a very fundamental piece of information that the public was misled on,” Lamptey bemoaned.
“The public was allowed to think that I came, saw a house, felt it was not up to my standards, somehow, and commissioned a renovation,” she said.
President John Mahama, on the advice of the Judicial Council and pursuant to Article 146 (10) (b) of the 1992 Constitution, suspended Ms Lamptey on January 13, 2015.
Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, said in a statement on Tuesday that: “The suspension follows the establishment of a prima facie case against Ms. Lamptey by the Chief Justice, and the setting up of a five 5-member committee to investigate complaints made against her.”
In August last year, Lauretta Lamptey moved into a hotel after her US$4,200 monthly rent for the apartment, including utility bills, at the AU Village expired.
Her official residence, which was previously occupied by her predecessor Justice Francis Emile Short, was at the time being redesigned with several variations at her instance, all at a cost of GH¢182,000.
Lamptey, as of late last year was paying $456 a day for her hotel accommodation. In total, about GH¢161,302.5 was spent on Lamptey’s stay in the hotel between August and November 2014.
The controversy led to the removal of CHRAJ from a list of Human Rights Commissions for an International study.
Anti-graft body Ghana Integrity Initiative had earlier asked Ms Lamptey to step aside voluntarily for investigations to be made into the saga.
Former CHRAJ Boss Emile Short also expressed qualms about his successor’s action, which he said erased the Commission’s credibility in fighting corruption.
Lamptey’s suspension, Mr. Bani noted, is to protect the integrity of the enquiry.
Ms. Lamptey has been asked to hand over her duties to a Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr. Richard Quayson, not later than Friday January 16, 2015.