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17.01.2006 Crime & Punishment

Raymond Archer Vrs Richard Anane

By Chronicle

PANEL HEARING KICKS OFF TODAY

Kick-off for the battle between Raymond Archer, Editor-In-Chief of The Enquirer newspaper, and the Minister for Road Transport comes off at the Commissioner's room of The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). The l'enfant terrible, Raymond Archer's earlier crusade of bringing to justice the Minister for Road Transport, Dr. Richard Anane, citing allegations of corruption and conflict of interest drew a blank, when he presented pieces of evidence at his disposal to the parliamentary vetting committee, when it was scrutinizing Anane for ministerial appointment.

Even though those allegations staggered the approval of Dr. Anane by the vetting committee, alongside Mr. Isaac Edumadze, and Sheikh I. C. Quaye, Central and Greater Accra Regional ministers respectively, they were bulldozed through.

Mr. Archer, who started his crusade against Anane whilst he was then Editor of The Chronicle, undaunted, dragged the minister to the CHRAJ, where unlike the parliamentary vetting committee, he was allowed to present his case.

The institution of a panel hearing after its preliminary investigations suggests that CHRAJ had found merit in the allegations.

Chronicle sources indicate that Ms Alexander O'Brien (a.k.a. Alexandria Anane), who has disclosed the transfer of various sums to her by the minister from sources that are not too clear, would be making an appearance.

Chronicle sorties around the CHRAJ office last week had sighted Alexandria, who is expected to make an appearance at the panel hearing.

When The Chronicle contacted Raymond Archer on phone yesterday at about 4: 15pm, he said he had received a letter about an hour earlier from CHRAJ, inviting him to the hearing today.

According to him, he was not sure of what to expect since the letter did not state what role he was to play at the hearing, saying, " it's a bit confusing because the letter did not state the specific issues that are going to be addressed and I do not know whether I would be interrogated or will be there to just observe proceedings."

He continued that since CHRAJ had conducted its own investigations and had instituted a panel hearing, he was going to be present at the hearing to get an insight into the new development.

Alexandria had accused Dr. Anane of abandoning her and their son, after he had initially been supportive of her, following an encounter with Anane's wife. Alexie had disclosed to The Chronicle that she had kept all documents in respect of monies she had received from Dr. Anane.

She had indicated also that Dr. Anane had assured her of receiving $20,000 immediately he awarded a contract to a certain contractor (it is not clear yet if that referred to a kickback) On the allegations of corruption, Mr. Archer had disclosed that Dr. Anane clearly overspent his yearly income by over three times. Archer had already submitted Mr. Anane's bank statement and pay slips to CHRAJ to assist in its investigations.

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