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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sipa Yankey to sue CHRAJ

Dr Sipa Yankey is a former Health Minister
Dr Sipa Yankey is a former Health Minister

Former Health Minister Dr. Sipa Yankey is threatening legal action against the Commission on Human Rights and Administration Justice.

The suit will challenge the decision to suspend public hearings into the Mabey and Johnson scandal, lawyer for Dr Yankey, Lawyer Kwame Gyan told Joy FM's Super Morning Show on Tuesday.

CHRAJ suspended the hearings last week after some of the other former public officers alleged to have been bribed by UK construction firm Mabey and Johnson filed a writ challenging the jurisdiction of CHRAJ in the matter.

But Dr. Sipa Yankey, who resigned to clear his name, is insisting that CHRAJ should hear his case.

“We have written a very strong letter to CHRAJ that should they not hear us tomorrow which is Wednesday 7 [April] we will institute legal proceedings to compel them to hear us without further recourse to them (that is other persons who have filed the writ at the High Court). The other applications, whatever they have done, they are within their rights…We who have not done so – Dr Sipa Yankey - have the constitutional right as a citizen of this republic to be heard. So we don’t want his rights to be subsumed within the rights of the other applicants, that’s all we are saying,” Mr Kwame Gyan said.

Mr Gyan played down suggestions that by asking CHRAJ to hear his client’s case or dragging the commission to court, he would have been “trying to engage in legal gymnastics.”

According to him, such accusations have often come from laymen who do not appreciate what makes law.

“Law is both a combination of substance and process. Without the so-called technical aspects of law there is no law,” he said.

“We are invoking Dr Sipa Yankey’s constitutional right and we are coming under Article 33 of the constitution to have his human rights enforced.”

Dr Yankey resigned his post after a UK court accepted a testimony from present directors of M&J that a number of former directors of the company had paid bribes to Dr Yankey and other former government officials.

CHRAJ whose mandate has been to investigate issues of human rights and administrative justice has been sitting on the matter for some months now.

The latest approach in its investigations – public hearings – has however faced a lot of setbacks brought on by persistent objections by lawyers of other former officials being investigated.

Story by Elvis Adjetey and Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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