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Sunday, October 25, 2009

M&J saga: CHRAJ writes to 'accused'

Mr Short: the material obtained from the Attorney General was insufficient.
Mr Short: the material obtained from the Attorney General was insufficient.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) says it has delivered letters to some of the public officials implicated in the Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal, as a first step towards a full scale investigation into the matter.

This, it said, was in accordance with regulations in the investigation of complaints contained in the Complaint Procedure Regulations, Constitutional Instrument No 7.

CHRAJ, however, said it had encountered some difficulties in its attempt to serve the letters on Alhaji Abubakar Siddique Boniface and Lord Attivor, two of the officials mentioned in the case, as they could not be found.

Mr Emile Short, the commissioner, said preliminary investigation was underway to gather evidence to determine whether there was some substance in the allegations made.

"If satisfied there is some substance to the allegations, we shall conduct a full investigation which would involve setting up a panel to investigate the allegations," he told the Daily Graphic.

"At the moment, we do not have all the information we require to make that determination," he added.

Mr Short said the material obtained from the Attorney General was insufficient for CHRAJ to decide whether the case merited a full scale investigation or not.

By the Complaint Procedure Regulations of CHRAJ, a complaint to the Commission is to be made in writing or orally to the national office of the Commission or to a representative of the Commission at the regional or district branch of the Commission.

In its preliminary investigations, CHRAJ must contact the people against whom the allegations have been made with a request for their response and they in turn shall respond within 10 days from the day of the receipt of CHRAJ's request.

Although the regulations stipulated how a complaint is to be made to CHRAJ, the President's request is not being considered as a complaint nor is the President himself considered as a complaint, Mr Short Said.

Rather, the President's invitation was being considered as a request to an independent body like CHRAJ to conduct the investigation to avoid any allegation or perception that an investigation by the Attorney General would result in a cover-up or whitewash of the whole affair.

Source: Daily Graphic

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