The Commission on Human Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is to begin full scale hearing into allegations of corruption against the Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Mr Ben Owusu-Mensah.
This follows the completion of almost two years of preliminary investigations of corruption and conflict of interest levelled against him by Mr Fred Kofi-Lagbo, a Ghanaians citizen presently domiciled in Nigeria.
In a letter signed by Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ and dated the 20th day of October, 2008, CHRAJ informed Mr Lagbo thus:
“I write to inform you that following preliminary investigations into allegations of corruption and conflict of interest made against the Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr Ben Owusu-Mensah, the Commission has decided to institute a full investigation into the allegations.
During the formal investigation, both the complainant and the respondent would have the opportunity to present their case, examine and cross examine witnesses.
The Commission will communicate to you in due course the date, time and place of the investigation”
Mr Lagbo who proffered the allegations against the GPHA boss was an alternate director in a local company that represented a Chinese firm that was awarded the contract for quay extension works at the Tema Harbour by GPHA. The contract sum came to some $16 million.
He alleges that the deal was fraught with breaches of procurement standards resulting in upward variations in contract sums and other irregularities bordering on corruption and conflict of interest.
The CHRAJ letter was copied to Mr Alfred Ogbamey, Editor of the Gye Nyame Concord and Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr. Counsel for Mr Lagbo.
Mr Ogbamey is the personal representative of Mr Lagbo who fled to Nigeria in 2006 following attempts by the Police to arrest him when he started drawing attention to the developments surrounding the GPHA quay extension works.
In a reaction to the CHRAJ decision, Mr Faibille Jnr. Said “We welcome this development and will co-operate with CHRAJ.
The fact that CHRAJ took almost two years to arrive at this conclusion is somehow disturbing but it is never late than never.
At the moment, Mr Lagbo, who is the star witness in the matter, is held up in Nigeria as a result of harassment by the Ghana Police”
Mr Faibille Jnr. said he is in the process of writing to CHRAJ to facilitate the return of Mr Lagbo for the investigations to start at the date to be given by CHRAJ.
SOURCE: GHANAIAN OBSERVER