There have been mixed reactions from some members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament to recommendations by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) that Dr. Richard Anane, Minister of Transportation, apologises to Parliament for lying under oath.
Dr. Anane told the Committee when he appeared before it for vetting in February 2005, that he did not transfer more than 10,000 dollars to Ms. Alexandria O'Brien, a United Stated citizen with whom he has a son.
The CHRAJ in its findings, however, said investigations revealed that about 100,000 dollars was remitted to Ms O'Brien.
Mr. Abraham Ossei-Aidooh, Member of Parliament for Tema West and the Deputy Chairman of the Appointments committee, said the findings of CHRAJ, a Constitutional body, ought to be respected.
and the Deputy Chairman of the Appointments committee, said the findings of CHRAJ, a Constitutional body, ought to be respected.
He said Parliament as an institution, would for now want to refrain from any comment "until the whole drama is played out."
He explained that Dr. Anane had the right, if he so wished, to challenge the findings of the commission in the law court.
Mr. Ossei-Aidooh said the Committee found Dr. Anane to be credible in his evidence at the time he appeared before it to be vetted for the ministerial position.
He said the appointments sub-committee was tasked to conduct further investigations on Dr. Anane as to whether he transferred 90,000 dollars to Ms O'Brien in two tranches.
"The lady said Anane sent her money but never sent 90,000 dollars in two tranches so that ended our investigation," Mr. Ossei-Aidooh said.
Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor, MP for Lawra/Nandom and a member of the committee, said the matter should go beyond the CHRAJ's recommendation that he should apologise.
and a member of the committee, said the matter should go beyond the CHRAJ's recommendation that he should apologise.
"When you lie on oath, it is a criminal offence and normally you should be handed over to the police and be prosecuted," he said.
Dr. Kumbuour contended that Dr. Anane did not owe Parliament any apology but that Parliament should rather apologise to the whole nation for the shame it created for itself.
"The evidence before the committee was quiet clear; there were some reservations but the House used its numbers to approve his nomination," he said, adding "these are some of the things some of us try to avoid.
Mr. John Ndebugre, MP for Zebilla, said the CHRAJ's recommendation was not all about the matter, explaining that the Executive would have to issue a white paper on the issue.
said the CHRAJ's recommendation was not all about the matter, explaining that the Executive would have to issue a white paper on the issue.
Mr. Ndebugre said the Speaker of Parliament, could on his own, refer the CHRAJ report to the Privileges committee which would then invite Dr. Anane to appear before it to explain why he lied, if it is true that he lied.
It is recalled that Dr. Anane's approval by Parliament was a subject of controversy leading to a walk out by the National Democratic Congress Minority members following disagreement with the majority over the procedure for the secret ballot used to approve his nomination.
The Appointments Committee confronted Dr. Anane with a petition from the public about his alleged transfer of 90,000 dollars to Ms O'Brien.
While Dr. Anane said he transferred not more than 10,000 dollars, some members from the Minority side disagreed and said his response was at variance with information received from Ms O'Brien.
Consequently, a sub-committee chaired by Mr. Ossei-Aidooh, was tasked to conduct further investigations into the matter and report back to the House for a decision to be taken.
Based on the sub-committee's report, the House on February 10, 2005, approved by secret ballot, the nomination of Dr. Anane.
The Minority group staged a walk out rejecting the sub-committee's report and asked that it be sent back to the committee "to do a better job."