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Monday, November 15, 2010

Amajaro ban: Veep dares critics to proceed to CHRAJ

John Mahama
John Mahama

Vice president John Mahama has dared critics to proceed to the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over COCOBOD’s lifting of the ban on British Cocoa Trading Company, Amajaro Company.

The British media has been replete with stories about the vice-president being lobbied by a British minister to influence the lifting of the ban on Amajaro.

The ban was placed following an undercover investigation by Anas Aremeyaw Anas which implicated Amajaro and three other cocoa trading companies of smuggling cocoa to neighbouring countries.

The ban was subsequently lifted on 28 November, 2010 by COCOBOD.

However, the Alliance for Responsible Office Holders (AFROH) with its chairman, Mahama Haruna, a member of the New Patriotic Party accused the vice-president of using his office to ensure the ban on Amajaro is lifted.

The group claims to have intercepted a letter written by Anthony Ward, an official of Armajaro enlisting the assistance of Andrew Mitchell, the British International Development Secretary, to lobby the vice president John Mahama and have the ban lifted.

But John Mahama insists he had no hand in the lifting of the ban.

Addressing press men at the castle on Monday, the vice-president challenged critics to proceed to CHRAJ and bring closure on the matter.

“I hope that it won’t be a phantom. They just said it and leave it. They should actually go to CHRAJ so that we get a closure on it,” he said.

John Mahama admitted meeting the British minister in question but said he only advised him to petition the COCOBOD.

“I said they should petition and they petitioned and it was lifted. I didn’t interfere with COCOBOD," he revealed.

He said the criticisms are mere attempts by his detractors to tarnish his reputation.

“I believe that a lot of the time public office holders are subjected to all kinds of denigrations without it being put to the test. This will be one of the first test cases,” he warned.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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