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18.09.2004 Regional News

CHRAJ drags Berekum Assembly to hearing

By GNA

Sunyani, Sept 18, GNA - The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has said it has the power and authority to investigate acts of district and municipal assemblies including their resolutions.

Mr Akwasi Boakye, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the Commission, said this in reply to a letter to the Commission from the Berekum District Assembly that questioned the Commission's authority to question the propriety or otherwise of its resolution on a member.

Mr Thomas Kyereh, Assembly Member for Kato Electoral Area, has petitioned the commission, alleging that the Berekum District Assembly has wrongfully suspended him. He is demanding 500 million cedis as compensation and an apology for the embarrassment caused him. The letter from the assembly stated that the assembly would not appear before the Commission "since it has no jurisdiction to bring up a resolution of the assembly and evaluate it.''

The letter, dated September 1, stated that "Mr Kyereh is not an employee of the assembly and his human rights have not been abused by any public officer but rather the Assembly had by a resolution suspended him."

Mr Boakye referred to Article 218 (c) of the 1992 Constitution and section 7 (1) (c) of Act 456, which he said empowers the Commission "to investigate complaints concerning practices and actions by persons, private enterprises and other institutions where those complaints allege violations of fundamental rights and freedoms under this Constitution". He said for these reasons, the parties involved in the case were requested in their own interest and in the supreme interest of justice, fairness, equity and good respect for the law to assist the Commission to do its work when it assumes the complaint on September 27.

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