Mahama to Face Suit over Last Minute CHRAJ Appointment

The New patriotic Party (NPP) smells something fishy in Mahama’s appointment of a CHRAJ chairperson, barely three weeks to his handover…

President Mahama’s last minute appointment of a new Chairperson for the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has attracted a lawsuit against him. Legal practitioner, Philip Addison has filed a suit challenging the move by the outgoing President.

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President Mahama on Tuesday, confirmed Joseph Whittal and Josephine Nkrumah as chairpersons of CHRAJ and National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) respectively. These appointments come barely two weeks before the President hands over power on January 7th, 2017 after losing the last presidential elections.

Mahama’s appointment of the said persons, which has been termed suspicious by the NPP, has caused the party to challenge the President’s authority. According to the Lawyer, the outgoing president may have the power to make appointments until the midnight of 6th January, 2017 before his handover; but in the spirit of the law, he cannot make appointments that will tie the hands of the incoming president.

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Speaking to Citi News, Philip Addison condemned the President’s move, arguing that the constitution does not allow the President to make such late appointments. He also accused the outgoing president of abusing discretionary powers.

Lawyer Addison said the NPP will be seeking declarative reliefs from the Court, to reverse Mahama’s appointment. A date – January 24, 2017, has been set for the hearing of the case.

The former CHRAJ Commissioner, Justice Lauretta Vivian Lamptey was removed as head of the institution by the President in November 2015. Her dismissal was in accordance with recommendations of a Committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate allegations of corruption and mismanagement levelled against her.

Mr. Joseph Whittal until his appointment, was Deputy Commissioner at CHRAJ.