The office of the Chief Justice has denied receiving a directive from President Mahama to investigate the embattled CHRAJ boss, Madam Lauretta Lamptey.
This is contrary to claims made over the weekend on Joy FM’s Newsfile by a member of governing party’s legal committee, Abraham Amaliba that the President has since taken action to that effect after he was petitioned to do so weeks ago.
The constitution demands that the President forwards any petition he receives regarding the removal of the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to the Chief Justice for action. Mr. Amaliba announced that President Mahama has fulfilled that constitutional obligation.
But the Judicial Secretary, Justice Alex Acheampong has confirmed to Joy News that the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Wood is yet to receive any petition as of Monday, October 13, 2014.
Madam Lauretta Lamptey has been accused of abusing her office in two separate petitions to the President. She spent 4,500 dollars of the tax payer’s money every month for almost three years to rent a luxury house while she spent an additional 180,000 cedis to renovate her official residence.
Member of Parliament’s Special Budgets committee Frank Annor Dumpreh was the first to activate the constitutional process for the removal of the CHRAJ boss when he petitioned the President about her conduct.
That was followed by a second petition from the group Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF).
The development that the Chief Justice has not received the petition from the President to investigate the CHRAJ Boss “is a big news to me”, Frank Annor Dumpreh told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Monday.
He questioned if it is yet another case where orders by the president are “being flouted” by his officials.
He is equally “scandalized” by the eloquence of government’s spokespersons who intentionally hyped actions they know the presidency has not taken. Mr. Dumpreh would also not accept the excuse that the petitioned delayed because the president was outside the country because the vice president could have acted in his stead.
But Samson Lardy Ayenini who is the lawyer for the PNF was not surprised by the development. He believes the petition may have delayed because of “bureaucracy” and wants “to wait for a while”.
Disagreeing with the former Attorney General Ayikoi Otoo that the process is “novel”, Sampson submitted to Myjoyonline.com that there is a precedent. He cited a case involving the removal of a former Deputy Chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education, Dr. Anthony Oppong.
He shed light on how the petition seeking the removal of CHRAJ boss could be carried through.
He relied on Article 22 (8) of the 1992 Constitution which said the removal of a commissioner shall be the same as the removal of justice of the Appeal or High courts.
Also Article 14 (6), he noted, stipulates before a commissioner of CHRAJ, EC, NCCE is removed, a petition is first made to the President, he in turn forwards it to the Chief Justice, who makes prima facie to determine whether there is a case to investigate, if there is, a committee is set up consisting of three justices of superior court appointed by the Judicial Council and two other persons who are not lawyers, Members of Parliament or Council of state members to investigage the official in question.