General News of Friday, 16 January 2015
Under-fire Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Lauretta Vivian Lamptey, has imputed malice against ex-CHRAJ boss Emile Short concerning his comments on the raging accommodation controversy in which she is enmeshed.
“I think it’s very unfortunate that he has been so active and so involved and very vocal in all of this. But I’m much more concerned about the fact that he was active from day one and that his pronouncements actually played a major contributory role to flaring this up,” Lamptey told Citi FM’s Bernard Avle when she spoke on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday, January 16, 2015.
In August last year, Ms. Lamptey moved into a hotel after her US$4,200 monthly rent including utility bills at the AU Village expired, after being there for 33 months.
Her official residence, which was previously occupied by former Commissioner Francis Emile Short, was at the time being renovated at a cost of Ghc182,000.
Lamptey, as of late last year was paying $456 a day for her hotel accommodation. In total, about Ghc161,302.5 was spent on Lamptey’s stay in the hotel between August and November 2014.
There was a lot of public outrage vented at her by anti-graft bodies including Transparency International’s local Chapter – Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) – as well as other civil society groups and opposition parties.
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.
Short also expressed qualms about Lamptey’s action, which he said erased the Commission’s credibility in fighting corruption.
Justice Short told Journalists in separate media interviews that he had lived in the property in question and thought it was befitting enough for residential purposes without the need for any major renovation work.
Ms Lamptey said Friday that Short’s comments fueled public outrage against her when the story broke.
“It is Mr Short’s pronouncements that the house was fine when he lived in it and if it needed any renovation then just a coat of paint, at a time when he knew that he had commissioned the renovation. He chose not to say it. He allowed the public to go on for the past four months thinking I commissioned the renovation and at no point did he say that: ‘no no no no, actually it was during my time.’”
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, following the “establishment of a prima facie case against her by the Chief Justice, and the setting up of a five 5-member committee to investigate complaints made against her,” in separate petitions filed by Nsawam Adoagyiri MP Frank Annor Dompreh and Richard Nyamah, leader of pressure group Progressive Nationalist Forum.
Lamptey’s suspension, according to a statement signed by Chief of Staff Prosper Bani noted, is to protect the integrity of the enquiry.
She was asked to hand over her duties to a Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr. Richard Quayson, not later than Friday January 16, 2015.