General News of Saturday, 17 January 2015
The suspended head of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Lauretta Lamptey has expressed disappointment in comments from sections of the public about her accommodation saga, which drew her into bad light.
Ms. Lamptey came under severe criticism over whopping sums of monies being bandied about as what she used to pay for her rent. She has however dismissed the claims and added that the payment for her accommodation was approved by the commission and not herself.
She also slammed her immediate predecessor, Emile Short for stoking the public fire with comments about being disappointed in her over her alleged decision not to move into the official residence because it was ‘not habitable’ and also under construction.
President John Mahama on the advice of the Judicial Council suspended Ms Lamptey for investigations to commence into allegations leveled against her for misuse of public funds since a prima facie case had been made against her.
Ms. Lamptey said, “it was Mr. Short who initiated the renovation works at the official CHRAJ residence, he knew about it, he was well aware of the work that needed to be done there and I’m surprised he’d come out to say things like he did.
“He got them to start work on the residence, CHRAJ gave out the contract and paid for it. It was CHRAJ that rented an accommodation for me because renovation works were being undertaken so why would he say such things in the public as if I’m deliberately refusing to go into the house.”
She was speaking on Citi Fm where she added that, “I got the modification documents of Ms Anna Bossman also a former CHRAJ boss and I wanted a few modifications of my own. I was guided by that of Ms Bossman and added a few things.
“It moved the renovation cost from Ghc166, 000 to Ghc182, 000 and that was it…. The contractor also delayed in getting the work done on time and that further delayed in the completion time of the official residence, so another contractor was hired to take over the work.”
Ms. Lamptey has been widely accused of spending in excess of about $200,000 to rent an apartment at the AU village and about Ghc180,000 on her official residence.
She was also criticized for moving into a hotel at the cost of the nation, when she could have moved into her official apartment.
Speaking for the first time after her suspension Ms. Lamptey noted that “it really hurt me that I have been silent all this while. I kept quiet because the Auditor General has called that they wanted to undertake an audit at the commission and I didn’t want to make any public comments that would cloud the audit.
“But it was a very terrible time for me, my mother and my kids when you know you can speak but have to be quiet.”