The Convention People’s Party (CPP) wants the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to institute a probe into President John Mahama’s receipt of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle from a contractor.
The petition, addressed to the Acting Commissioner of CHHRAJ, was dated Monday, June 20, 2016.
It follows recent revelations that the president received a brand new 2010 model Ford Expedition car gift from a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, who had the privilege of executing some Government of Ghana projects both in the country and in Burkina Faso.
Djibril Kanazoe sent a gift of $100,000 car to his friend, Mr Mahama, through the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou.
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has asked President Mahama to return the controversial gift because according to the anti-graft body the president’s action “breaches the state’s anti-corruption code.”
Even though government has denied any wrongdoing on the part of the president, the Convention People’s Party (CPP), like many others, believe that Djibril Kanazoe’s friendship with President Mahama earned him some juicy contracts, chief among them being the construction of a fence wall at the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso at a cost of $650,000 and the Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road worth €25.9 million.
Kanazoe had to chicken out of the third contract, a 28-kilometre road project between Wa and Hamile in the Upper West Region at an estimated cost of GH¢82 million, after the scandal broke.
This is what has compelled the youth wing of the CPP to petition CHRAJ to look into the matter, even though President Mahama is yet to make a comment about the issue.
In the petition, Secretary of the CPP Youth League, Hardi Yakubu, stressed the belief that it was a clear case of conflict of interest, “understanding that the said gift was given to and taken by H.E. John Mahama whilst in office as president and that the said giver, Mr Djibril Kanazoe, a contractor of Burkinabe origin, represents a commercial interest.”
Having regard to Articles 284, 287, 218 (a) and (e) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana as well as Section 7 (1) of Act 456, the CPP wants CHRAJ to institute a formal investigation into the matter to establish whether or not accepting the gift constituted conflict of interest.
It also wants CHRAJ to clarify what manner of gifts given to and taken by public workers and government officials may be properly classified as bribes.
Djibril Kanazoe himself has confirmed giving the car to President Mahama, with the Ghanaian president in turn thanking him.
What the contractor has, however, disputed is the interpretation of the gesture as a bribe, even though he admits the fact that somebody took him to President Mahama to see him before he started winning Government of Ghana contracts.
Government has equally not denied receiving any such gift from the contractor, except to say that it was not a bribe and that it had since placed the vehicle in the presidential pool of vehicles, even though till date no one has seen either the said vehicle, a picture of it or its registration number.
Checks by journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni of Joy FM have, however, established that details of the vehicle in question had not been captured in the data of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) as required by law – be it private or government registration.
It is therefore believed that the vehicle is still the private property of the president, unless otherwise proven by government with its registration details.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu