O'brien, the former mistress of the Road Transport Minister, Dr. Richard Anane,has told the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) investigating allegations of misconduct against the minister, that she has no documentary evidence that the minister was behind all the remittances she received for the upkeep of their son, Nicholas Anane. Testifying under cross examination by lead counsel for the minister, Jacob Acquah-Sampson, Alexandria who is also known as Alexandria Claudia Virginia Manuci, said, even though there was no documentary evidence, she however, believed that the Minister was behind the transfers.
She conceded that the single largest amount she received directly from Dr. Anane was $10,000 and that was when she came to Ghana and put up at the La Palm Beach Hotel, Accra.
CHRAJ is investigating Dr. Anane on allegations of corruption, conflict of interest and abuse of office with his estranged mistress, Alexandria at the centre of the allegations. Alexandria, who prefers to be called Alexandria Anane, admitted that most of the remittances were transferred or caused to be transferred by Collins Duodu-Bonsu, former Special Assistant to the Minister. Asked why she took the matter to the media, she said she was advised to do so when she contacted some journalists since that was the only way the minister can be compelled to live up to his responsibilities.
According to Ms. O'Brien, she approached Roland, of Radio Gold who referred her to Raymond Archer, who was then working with The Chronicle. She claimed that Roland recommended Raymond because, as she put it, he was trained by the US State Department and was therefore competent to handle the case for her.
Alexandria, also indicated that she received $500 from Raymond Archer, to maintain telephone contacts with them (Raymond and Roland). According to her, at that time she was in financial difficulties, and they came to her rescue. “It was difficult for me to make contact with them internationally, and they offered to help me” she said. She said the money was paid to her through Roland.
However, in his testimony, Raymond Archer said that he only sent her $1000 with the help of his friends. Counsel put it to her that she took the matter to the media with a view to blackmailing the minister, when she realized that Dr. Anane could not meet her incessant financial demands. She said it was misleading to make such a suggestion.
According to counsel, Alexandria had told Collins Duodu-Bonsu that she wondered why a minister from a third world country cannot find money to finance his affairs with an American woman, which led to Collins withdrawing his support to her. Mr. Acquah-Sampson therefore suggested to her that her decision to go public coincided with the withdrawal of Collins support, the suggestion which she described as inaccurate and misleading to the Commission and the public. Asked if Nicholas was properly catered for by the minister, she was a bit evasive but conceded that the minister cared for them between 2002 and 2003. She explained that the problem started in 2004 when she only received $6000 from Dr. Anane, an amount she described as inadequate.
When counsel asked how much would be sufficient to cater for Nicholas, she could not give precise figures, but was quick to add that with house rents and utilities she would need between $4000 to $5000 a month. Counsel said, Alexandria should be blamed for her ordeal since the minister started a process to arrive at an acceptable amount for a child support, which she threw a spanner into. Alexandria conceded that she engaged a lawyer, Ken Laryea of Laryea and Laryea, at East Cantonments Accra on a pro bono basis but she did not give him any power of attorney so whatever he negotiated for Nicholas was null and void.
Counsel suggested that Ms. O'Brien's application for child support pending in Florida was in a bad faith since there was a process to arrive at an acceptable amount in Ghana, which she was not cooperating with the minister's legal representative. In response to a question on her previous marital status, Alexandria was furious to counsel's line of question. She conceded that O'Brien was the name of her previous husband and that her maiden name was Manuci. She said her previous husband, Peter O'Brien who is relocated to Australia because of harassment by Alexandria, is the father of her daughter, Virginia who is about 20 years old.
However, she said she was not going to answer any questions on her previous relationship because it had got nothing to do with the case. “I'm not going to share any information on my previous relationship and on my daughter. No comment”, she charged. On the alleged collapse of her World Health Monitor Programme which she blamed Dr. Anane for, she conceded tht the organization had no track record and that the programme had never been tested anywhere. She also admitted that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on WHMP was signed three months before she threw her arms around the minister.
Counsel at the end of his cross examination suggested to her that she was a blackmailer and that she was deliberately destroying the reputation of the Minister, because Dr Anane could not support her demands, a suggestion which enraged her threatening to sue Mr Acquah-Sampson.