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18.07.2005 General News

Hotel Kufuor Under Probe

Hotel Kufuor Under Probe
THE COMMISSION on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has hinted Daily Guide, the commission has started investigations into the acquisition of “Hotel Kufuor”, to establish whether there is any act of impropriety on the part of President Kufuor's son, who acquired the property from Mr Anthony Kwame Saoud, a Lebanese businessman. The acting commissioner of CHRAJ, Miss Anna Bossman, who dropped the hint, last Tuesday, at a CHRAJ public lecture, said the huge perception of corruption, being put on the mode of acquisition by a section of the public, makes the issue a matter of concern to CHRAJ. According to Miss Bossman, CHRAJ as a public institution, has decided to go into the matter, as a result of the interest shown by the public.
“We have already started our independent investigations into the case, and we are working hard on the ground, to get to the bottom of the case”, she assured.
The “Hotel Kufuor” saga has become a running story, because of the interest shown, especially by members of the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
A lot of Ghanaians have already called on CHRAJ to launch investigations into this issue, because of the controversy surrounding it, but NDC has kicked against it stressing CHRAJ should not be trusted to do an independent job, or investigations.
Another controversial character in the whole “Hotel Kufuor” matter, Miss Gizelle Yajzi, has also, doubted the commission's competence.
Speaking to Radio Gold, Miss Yajzi hinted she would be one person to be useful to CHRAJ's investigation, but unfortunately, it will be a wild goose chase for CHRAJ, since the acting commissioner was appointed by the President.
“I would help anybody, but the commission doesn't need my help, because the Commission of Human Rights, in Ghana, first of all, I don't trust in their veracity”.
The, former adviser to President Kufuor, has rubbished Ghana's Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice's enquiry into the President's role in his son's acquisition of Hotel Kufuor.
According to Gizelle Yajzi, the enquiry, launched by CHRAJ, is inadequate.
“I don't believe in CHRAJ”, she indicated.
According to her, she was conducting her own investigations, through the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI), the international anti-corruption agency.
“I have met them in Berlin,” she disclosed.
This is the first time Ms Yajzi is speaking, publicly, since the original owner of the – hotel, Anthony Kwame Saoud spoke to journalists, and rubbished her (Gizelle's) claim that President Kufuor bought the hotel.
She insisted that the recordings of the transactions were captured on tapes,and that she had played them to President Kufuor.
She assured she would not co-operate with CHRAJ, because she doesn't trust the commission's boss, Ms. Anna Bossman.
Ms Yajzi explained even though she had received two letters from CHRAJ, dated June 29, and July 4, 2005, the commission made a terrible mistake by attributing the controversy to her, and by describing her as “one Miss Gissele Yajzi”. She was also unhappy CHRAJ sort her personal details from Radio Gold, instead of from President Kufuor, or Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo.
“I'm not the one who accused the President; it was a newspaper, a Ghanaian newspaper, and the first person to mention that the President was involved in this matter, was the adviser of President Kufuor's son. I was asked about it, and I said I know about it,” she emphasied.
According to her, the President employed Ms Bossman, and therefore, she would not do a good job.
She accused CHRAJ's acting Commissioner of colluding with “ people in government”.
“She has to respond to why she had secret meetings with the people in government,” she observed.
Asked when the noted secret meetings took place, Ms Yajzi claimed they were held in different locations, since the hotel issue came up.
However, she would not reveal the people who told her about the so-called meetings.
It will be recalled that the NDC Minority, in Parliament contends it will soon move a motion in parliament to demand the setting up of a multi-partisan committee, to investigate President Kufuor's role .
The Minority remarks it will be compelled to move the motion, if its calls for an independent parliamentary investigative body, was not heeded to by Parliament.
“Leader of the side, Alban Bagbin, told a news conference, in Accra, that the Speaker of Parliament was reluctant to allow the Minority to make a statement, in Parliament demanding a parliamentary enquiry.
He assured if the Speaker continues to refuse to grant them permission to make the statement in Parliament, then they will move the motion for the investigative body.
Hon Bagbin told journalists that it is in the interest of President Kufuor that the matter be investigated, thoroughly, owing to what the leader observed, was the controversy surrounding the whole transaction.
“At this stage, we are not accusing the President, or any member of his family, for any wrong doing in the acquisition of the hotel building.
“However, considering the pervasive nature of the allegations made against him by some major players in the transaction, which seem to point to the direction of President Kufuor himself, we are convinced, it is in his interest, and that of his government, and the country, as a whole, will be better served, if we offer an opportunity to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the transaction. What Ghanaians are asking for, is the truth”, he pointed out.
Government spokespersons have, over the past few months, denied the President's involvement in what has become known as the “Hotel Kufuor” saga.
The owner of the building complex, Anthony Saoud, and his son-in-law, who brokered the deal, have also, denied the President's involvement.
But, a former presidential adviser, Giselle Yadzi, has maintained that President Kufuor is the real owner of the building, but is using his son, to cover-up.