Group petitions CHRAJ to probe Blay over 275 buses

he Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ) have petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay in connection with his procurement of 275 buses for the party.

Mr. Blay has shot down claims that the buses were procured to influence delegates ahead of the NPP’s National Delegates’ Conference that took place in Koforidua over the weekend.

According to him, the party is securing a bank facility to purchase the buses which he claims will be managed transport company STC.

But the coalition for Social Justice in their petition stated that “the circumstances under which the buses are being distributed, Petitioner avers that the distribution of these buses by the Respondent is a clear vote buying gesture and a case of corruption which must be probed by CHRAJ. We are fortified in this believe by sections 238-241 of the Criminal Offenses Act 1960 (ACT 29) which frowns upon bribery and vote buying.”

“We contend further that, the conduct of the Respondent is very obscene and detracts from the country’s efforts at fighting corruption and that, conducts like the one complained of in this petition if allowed to go unchecked will without doubt undermine public confidence in government.”

Below is the full petition:

COALITION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE (CSJ),

THE COMMISSIONER
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTICE (CHRAJ)
BOX AC 489, ACCRA.
DATE: 6TH JULY, 2018

PETITION BY COALITION FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE (CSJ), PURSUANT TO ARTICLES 218(a)(e) AND 287 OF THE 1992 CONSTITUTION, SECTION 7(a) (f) OF THE CHRAJ ACT, 1993 (ACT 456) AND SECTION 8 OF THE PUBLIC OFFICE HOLDERS (DECLARATION OF ASSETS AND DISQUALIFICATION) ACT, 1998 (ACT 550).

We the undersigned, for and on behalf of the Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ), do hereby petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), through your high office, to investigate the Respondent, MR FREDDIE WORSEMAO BLAY for Corruption in respect of his role in the purchase of 275 buses for the 275 constituencies of the governing New Patriotic Party.

01. The Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ) is a civil society organisation registered under the Companies Act of Ghana, Act 179. It is a body corporate committed to deepening democratic governance in Ghana by encouraging citizen participation in politics and broadening the frontiers of probity, accountability, rule of law, fairness and social justice in the administration of the country.

02. The Respondent, Mr. Frederick Worsemao Blay (Hereinafter referred to as Mr. Freddie Blay) is currently the Acting National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and an aspirant for the position of National Chairman in the upcoming National Delegate Elections of the NPP. The respondent is also the Board Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), a state agency, established by law and responsible for oil exploration and other related activities in Ghana.

03. Petitioner holds the view that, as Board Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Respondent is a “public officer” and therefore required to act in accordance with law and demonstrate indubitable commitment to the values of probity, accountability and fairness which undergird our Constitution.

04. The Petitioner share the view of many well-meaning Ghanaians that, political parties are indeed central to the country’s democratic consolidation efforts and therefore applaud efforts to build the capacity of parties. This however we contend must be achieved within the framework permissible by the Constitution and other relevant laws of the land.

05. It is for this reason that the Constitution provides in article 55 elaborate provisions for the establishment and operationalisation of political parties in Ghana and sets out the broad framework within which political parties and persons associated with political parties must operate. This is even more important in respect of parties in government, so as to prevent the potential for corruption and abuse of power.

06. We have noted with profound consternation, media reports which shows that on or about Wednesday, the 4th of July, 2018, Respondent herein took delivery of some 100 buses, alleged to be part of 275 buses procured by the Respondent to be given to all the constituencies of the New Patriotic Party, ahead of their National Delegates Conference this weekend.

07. The Spokesperson for the Respondent, Mr. Richard Nyamah is on record to have said that the Respondent took a loan of $11 million, solely guaranteed by him to procure these buses. He further indicated that Respondent has personally advanced a colossal amount of $3 million of the total amount involved.

08. Despite calls on him by the media, Respondent has refused to disclose his source of funding for the procurement of these buses. Petitioner holds the view that, as a public officer paid by the taxpayer, Respondent is duty bound to disclose the source from which he raised the $3million and how he intends to finance the outstanding commitment in respect of this transaction.

09. Petitioner avers that, Respondent has no personal means of legally funding this transaction and that the Respondent has violated article 286 of the 1992 Constitution and the provisions of the Public Office Holders (Declaration Of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (ACT 550) which underscores the need for Public Officers to demonstrate the highest degree of integrity, sincerity and candor in their conduct.

10. Also given the timing of this act and the circumstances under which the buses are being distributed, Petitioner avers that the distribution of these buses by the Respondent is a clear vote buying gesture and a case of corruption which must be probed by CHRAJ. We are fortified in this believe by sections 238-241 of the Criminal Offenses Act 1960 (ACT 29) which frowns upon bribery and vote buying.

11. We contend further that, the conduct of the Respondent is very obscene and detracts from the country’s efforts at fighting corruption and that, conducts like the one complained of in this petition if allowed to go unchecked will without doubt undermine public confidence in government.

In the light of the foregoing, we humbly present to you this petition to investigate the Respondent herein, Mr. Frederick Worsemao Blay for corruption and possible abuse of office.

Kindly find attached some media reports and publications on this matter which confirms the content of this petition. We believe that these pieces of information will be useful in your investigations.

Humbly submitted

Signed
Beatrice Matekole
(Secretary- CSJ)

Signed
Issahaque Awudulai
Deputy Director of Operations-CSJ

 

 

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM