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CHRAJ temporarily rejects petition to probe bribery scandal

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The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has said it will take a back seat on investigations into the bribery allegations against some Members of Parliament’s Appointments Committee.

The Commission has however said it would not completely recuse itself from investigating the matter, but would hold an investigation in abeyance.

“CHRAJ has decided not to exercise its discretion to decline investigating the allegations altogether; but rather, at this stage, to hold its investigation in abeyance awaiting the outcome of the committee’s findings.”

CHRAJ in its assessment of the petition brought before it by one Nana Kusi-Poku Listowel, explained that its decision was premised upon section 13 (1) (a) and (b) of Act 456, 1993, which allows the Commission to decline to investigate a complaint if there is adequate remedy for the complaint or it is deemed unnecessary.

The Commission has thus deferred to Parliament, which has set up a five-member committee to investigate the bribery allegation following a petition by some Minority Members of Parliament who levelled the bribery allegation against the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.

CHRAJ in its report said it was satisfied with Parliament’s investigative committee’s work so far, which is holding public sittings as a means of ensuring transparency.

But the commission noted in its report that “it would not hesitate to assert its broad constitutional mandates should circumstances after the committee’s proceedings and after perusing its Report warrant further investigation into the matter.”

CHRAJ reminded that these corruption allegations that have rocked Parliament fall within its purview.

“The Commission is mindful of the fact that the crux of the allegations under enquiry touch and concern the conduct of Constitutional Public officers which ultimately falls within the ambit of Chapter 24 of the 1992 Constitution thereby making CRAJ the relevant constitutional forum for redress as affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Ablakwa (NO. 2) v Jake Otanka Obestsebi-Lamptey (2012) 20SCGLR 846.”

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana