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Crime & Punishment | Mar 19, 2004

Court overturns CHRAJ decision against Kwame Addo

Chronicle

An Accra High Court, presided over by His Lordship Anin Yeboah, has set aside the decision of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), which made adverse findings against a former board member of the Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Mr. Kwame Addo.

The high court judge also fined CHRAJ in costs to the sum of ¢3 million The court, on March 12, this year, upheld a declaration that the decision of CHRAJ, on January 28, last year, affecting the plaintiff, Mr. Addo, was “null, void and of no legal consequences.”

In a statement filed by the solicitors of Mr. Addo, Zoe, Akyea and Co, it noted that, the case, which was entitled 'Kwame Addo versus the CHRAJ' was filed in 2002.

According to the solicitors, the court declared the decision null and void on the grounds that CHRAJ had neither notified Mr. Addo of the hearing nor afforded him the opportunity to be heard on the allegations affecting him, hence their conduct was a breach of the principles of natural justice.

It might be recalled that on October 10, 2000, Joy FM, through its 'Morning Show' presenter, Mr. Komla Dumor, the eventual winner of the 2003 Ghana Journalist Associations' best journalist award, filed a complaint with CHRAJ against SSNIT.

The complaint alleged several instances of mismanagement of funds, corruption and conflict of interest, among other things.

The specific complaints, which centred on Mr.Addo, were the Ofankor Odupong land and the Singer House transactions.

The statement continued that the judge faulted CHRAJ for not first notifying Mr.Addo of the complaint and also that the proceedings were contrary to section 14(1) of CHRAJ's own law, Act 1993 Act 459 and the principle of natural justice.

The statement stressed that the judge had come to a firm conclusion that what transpired in the absence of Mr. Addo was no evidence in law, as he was never given the opportunity to cross examine his accusers, Joy FM The statement emphasized that the high court, which had supervisory jurisdiction over CHRAJ, had set aside the adverse findings against Mr. Addo and that “it should put to rest the unfounded and ill-motivated public speculations about Mr. Addo's business ethics.”

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