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No CHRAJ report is missing -AG

chronicle June 4, 2019

By Maxwell Ofori

The Attorney General’s (A-G’s) Department has refuted claims a supposed report, submitted to it by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), had gone missing.

A statement issued by the Department yesterday described the claims as false, and urged the public to disregard same.

The release said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) dockets currently under review by the office covers the period between 2012 and 2017 on fumigation.

It said when the investigative journalist, Mr Manasseh Azure Awuni, first enquired about the report, he stated that there was a report on Zoomlion sent to the AG’s office by CHRAJ.

However, the AG, in its response, said the department’s system had no records on the said report.

“A search on the department’s data system could not trace any such report, because the entries made in our system capture the subject matter as is on the forwarding letter, the date of the letter, and the date received. We, therefore, could not trace “a CHRAJ Report on Zoomlion” in our data system, since those details were not details captured into the system.

“This cannot be interpreted by any stretch of imagination that the CHRAJ report is missing,” the statement added.

JoyNews investigations into the Sanitation Improvement Package contract, in which Zoomlion was required to dispose of waste containers in all 216 district assemblies at that time, revealed the said canker.

Titled ‘Robbing the Assemblies’, the investigation found evidence that the company was paid even before it lifted the waste containers, using monies deducted from Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies (MMDAs).

Read the AG’s statement below:

  1. The report is false and should be disregarded by the general public.
  2. Two (2) CHRAJ reports were received by our office in June, 2018. Both reports were forwarded under cover of a letter with the subject “SUBMISSION OF REPORT OF INVESTIGATION PURSUANT TO SECTION 10(3) OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER ACT 2006 (ACT 720).” Whereas the first report dated 7th June, 2018 received on 11th June, 2018 was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution, the second report dated 22nd June, 2018 was received at the office on 27th June, 2018 and forwarded to the Solicitor-General for necessary attention.
  3. The CHRAJ report submitted in June 2018 is on a 2007 contract on Sanitation Improvement Programme and waste management. The CID dockets currently under review by the office also covers the period between 2012 and 2017 on fumigation. These are two separate matters and both the docket from CID and the CHRAJ report are receiving the necessary attention by our office.
  4. When the investigative journalist, Mr Azure, first enquired about the report, he stated that there is a report on Zoomlion sent to our office by CHRAJ. A search on the department’s data system could not trace any such report, because the entries made in our system captures the subject matter as is on the forwarding letter, the date of the letter, and the date received. We therefore, could not trace “a CHRAJ Report on Zoomlion” in our data system, since those details were not details captured into the system.

This cannot be interpreted by any stretch of imagination that the CHRAJ report is missing.

During a prosecution retreat, the said journalist was invited to give us an overview of the investigation he conducted. After his brief, officers of the department explained to him what is required to mount a successful prosecution. He promised to provide us with more documents showing evidence of payments made to the company but till date, he himself has been unable to give us the documents promised. He subsequently directed us to the director, legal of the Auditor-General’s Office for the documents we require and the DPP is in touch with the Director but we still do not have the full complement of the documents.

The department continues to work diligently to ensure that the tenets of justice are upheld in all matters brought before it.

The department further urges journalists to desist from hurried attempts to misreport matters in a manner that causes public apprehension.

 

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