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25.09.2006 Politics

President Kufuor returns home today to decide fate of Dr. Anane

By MJOL
President Kufuor returns home today to decide fate of Dr. Anane
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The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative (CHRAJ) recommended Dr. Anane's dismissal a fortnight ago, after finding him guilty of perjury, conflict of interest and abuse of power in a public inquiry that lasted seven months.

President Kufuor who was abroad at the time ordered the Attorney-General, Joe Ghartey, to study the Commission's findings for government action, and as he arrives today there are high expectations of the government.

In the latest views sampled on the streets of Accra by JOY NEWS, many argued that Dr. Anane should be sacked for ''embarrassing the government and the state'' and for ''lying to Ghanaians'' to serve as an example to other public officials.

The long-awaited report finally became public on Friday, the September 8.
The Acting CHRAJ Commissioner, Anna Bossman read it out to a packed room of journalists and interested parties

Lots of reactions have poured in since the report was released, some for Dr. Anane but many more against the Minister of Road Transport.
Majority of the public sampled by JOY NEWS believe the Minister should simply leave office or be sacked. Those calls have been popular. Daniel Batidam of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of the global corruption watchdog agency Transparency International (TI), also argued that Dr. Anane should resign or be pushed out of office.

The latest calls have come from the clergy. Popular TV evangelist, Rev. Sam Korankye-Ankrah, General Overseer of the Royal House Chapel said on Sunday that the most honourable thing for Dr. Anane to do was to resign to contest the issue in a court of law.

Dr. Anane has never publicly commented on the matter except for his account before the CHRAJ.

But the people speaking for him have not been in short supply though. Leading the pack is his special assistant Ken Anku, who has kept faith with the Minister from his days at the Ministry of Health, through to the Ministry of Transportation.

Jacob Acquah-Samson, the lead counsel for Dr. Anane told JOY NEWS he would not advise their client to resign. Indeed, counsels for Dr. Anane have since filed a suit at an Accra Fast Track High Court against CHRAJ. Dr Anane's lawyers are asking the court to quash the CHRAJ decision on six main grounds which border on the jurisdictional competence of CHRAJ to rule on perjury, conflict of interest as well as abuse of power.

In a related development, Dr. Anane's Nhyiaeso constituents have threatened to resign en bloc from the ruling NPP party should the President dismiss Dr. Anane.

For someone known to be a very close associate of the President, and who has kept his job despite numerous allegations, it remains to be seen whether he will survive this round as well.

Doubtlessly, Dr. Anane's saga poses by far one of the greatest tests of the President's avowed ''Zero tolerance for corruption'' and where and how Kufuor swings the pendulum would be one of his most enduring legacies. Does the President have the courage to axe his lieutenant? Only time will tell.

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