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23.02.2006 General News

I was competent for the post - VELD Chief Executive

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 23, GNA - Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) on Thursday told the investigative panel of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) that his appointment was on merit.

Mr Owusu said it was, therefore, an erroneous perception that Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Road Transport, who is being investigated by the Commission for certain allegations, recommended him for the post as a reward for his services to the Minister.

The DVLA Chief Executive made these remarks when he answered questions under cross-examination by Mr Jacob Acquah Sampson, counsel for Dr Anane, at CHRAJ's public hearing on the allegations. The Minister is before CHRAJ over allegations of corruption, abuse of office and conflict of interest.

The investigations became necessary following newspaper publications against Dr Anane and a subsequent petition to Parliament by Mr Raymond Archer, Editor-in-Chief of "The Enquirer" newspaper, against his re-appointment as a Minister of State.

Continuing with his evidence under cross-examination, Mr Owusu told the three-member CHRAJ Investigative Panel chaired by its Acting Commissioner, Ms Anna Bossman that it was also wrong for people to have the impression that he was appointed as head of DVLA because of his affiliation with the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Led in evidence earlier by Mrs Mavis Andoh, counsel for the Commission, witness said he had known Dr Anane since 1994 and acted as his counsel in the child maintenance case involving Nicholas Anane, his son with Alexandria O'Brien.

Mr Owusu told the Panel that he had never met Alexandria in person, but had spoken to her on phone.

The gist of their telephone conversation, Mr Owusu said, was that she wanted to know about the outcome of the negotiations between him and Mr Ken Laryea, her counsel.

He told the Commission that when he asked Alexandria to contact her lawyer, she became offended and banged the receiver. Mr Owusu said consequently the figure arrived at by counsel on both sides was 500 dollars a month for the maintenance of Nicholas.

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