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17.01.2006 General News

Archer to appear before CHRAJ in Anane's case


Accra, Jan 17, GNA - Mr Raymond Archer of the Enquirer Newspaper would on February 7, appear before the Investigating Panel of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), as its first witness in the matter in which Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, is being investigated over a number of allegations. At its maiden public hearing today, the Panel made it clear to Mr Archer that his invitation as a witness had become necessary because by presenting a report on the allegations to Parliament, the Panel felt the witness could furnish it with vital information that would help it get to the bottom of the matter.

As a result, the Panel asked Mr Archer to present to it a written statement within 10 days, and indicated further that Mrs Mercy Anane, wife of Dr Anane, who was present, would be the next witness after Mr Archer.

The Panel, which is looking into allegations of corruption, abuse of office and conflict of interest levelled against Dr Anane, indicated that after conducting preliminary investigations into the matter, it had now become expedient to come out with a full-scale investigation, hence the public hearing.

It stated that Article 218 (a) and (e) of the 1992 Constitution, empowers the Commission to investigate "all manner of injustices" after which appropriate action should be taken against those involved. The Panel made it clear that the matter before it was one that bordered on morality and since Dr Anane was only being investigated over those allegations levelled against him, he faced no criminal charges. Ms Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner of CHRAJ and chairman of the three-member panel, said it would like to get to the bottom of the matter as quickly as possible and urged the public to volunteer information when asked to do so, without fail.

The two other panel members are Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner in charge of Public Education and Anti-Corruption and Mrs Abena Bonsu, Director, Legal and Investigations.

Earlier, Dr Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, counsel for the Commission tendered in evidence several documents, among which were Notice of Allegations, Request for Responses to Allegations and Matters Arising. The panel gave the five-member defence counsel led by Mr Jacob Acquah-Sampson, 10 days to file responses to the allegations. Mr Peter Zwennes, Mr George Amissah, Mr Joshua Nimako and Mr Andrew Mercer are with Mr Acquah-Sampson.