The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) said the circumstances under which the ‘Ford Expedition gift’ vehicle was delivered to President John Dramani Mahama and his conduct after the gift was made, sufficiently rebutts the presumption of acceptance of a bribe by a public officer.
CHRAJ said at the end of the preliminary investigations, the allegations that the President Mahama has contravened Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution by putting himself in situations of conflict of interest has not been substantiated.
Consequently, the Commission holds that full or further investigations into the allegations are not warranted and the allegations therefore, are hereby dismissed, CHRAJ said in an 80-page investigative report made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The GNA hereby produces a summary of the Section 10 of the entire report – Analysis of the evidence in the light of the issues and applicable laws and policies:
Issue 1: Whether the acceptance of the Ford Expedition vehicle by the (President Mahama) Respondent contravened existing Gift Policy under the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.
The Commission is satisfied that the gift in question forms part of gifts prohibited under the Gift Policy under the Code of Conduct. Although the evidence shows that the Respondent subsequently surrendered the gift to the State, the action nonetheless contravened the gift policy.
Issue 2: Whether the acceptance of the gift by the Respondent placed him in a conflict of interest situation under the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and Conflict of Interest Rules?
CHRAJ said having reviewed the evidence on the actions and conduct of the Respondent after the gift was made the Commission is satisfied that his actions and conduct sufficiently dealt with any conflict of interest that could have been occasioned. In the circumstances, the Commission finds that the Respondent did not put himself in a conflict of interest situation or contravene the conflict of interest rules under Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution.
Issue 3: Whether the Vehicle which is said to be a brand new vehicle at the time it entered Ghana was cleared at Tema Port as a used car in order to undervalue it and pay less duty.
On the basis of the evidence, the Commission is satisfied with the explanation from the GRA that the vehicle was assessed in accordance with sections 89 & 91 of Act 330, and not described as used vehicle to undervalue the duty payable. The term “used” therefore, is not synonymous with the term “secondhand” vehicle.
Issue 4: If the Vehicle was declared as “used” when it was “new” on entry into Ghana, whether the State suffered a loss of revenue.
In the absence of direct evidence to the contrary, the Commission accepts that the duty paid on the vehicle was the regular duty payable under the law, and therefore the State did not lose revenue on the vehicle.
Issue 5: Whether the Registration details of the Vehicle can be found at the DVLA and if so, in whose name was the Vehicle Registered
On the evidence available, the Commission is satisfied that the vehicle is registered and used as State property in same manner as other operational vehicles at the Presidency.
Issue 6: Whether the Vehicle has been added to the Presidential pool and if it has, when was it added?
Based on the overwhelming evidence before the Commission, the Commission is satisfied and finds as a fact that the vehicle was received and added to the Presidential Pool on 2nd November, 2012.
Issue 7: Whether the Respondent has perpetrated fraud on the people of Ghana by representing to Ghanaians that Ouedrago Cheik Mohammed was actually the importer of the vehicle in question when indeed the vehicle was transported by road with personnel from both Ghana Embassy at Burkina Faso and Ghana Boarder at Paga through to Accra.
On the basis of the available evidence, the Commission finds that the allegation that the Respondent perpetrated fraud on Ghanaians is unfounded.
Issue 8: Whether the Gift was given with intent to corrupt the Respondent and whether the Respondent knew that Djibril Kanazoe made him the gift with intent to corrupt the Respondent
The Commission is satisfied with the actions of the Respondent after the gift was made, and accordingly finds that his conduct was not consistent with that of a person who had been corrupted by a gift or improperly influenced by same.
Issue 9: Whether the acceptance of the gift (Ford) amounts to a bribe.
The Commission accordingly finds that the circumstances under which the gift was delivered to the Respondent, and conduct of the Respondent after the gift was made sufficiently rebuts the presumption of acceptance of a bribe by a public officer.
Issue 10: Whether due process and procedure were followed by public officials in the award of contracts
On the strength of the evidence, the Commission is satisfied that the procurement process and procedure were regular and within the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663), in particular, Section 43(1). In the absence of direct evidence to the contrary, the Commission accepts the evidence of the Public Officials involved that the contracts were awarded regularly and in the normal course of their duties.
Issue 11: Whether the Ministry of Roads and Highways was in the process of “handpicking” Djibril Kanazoe for the award of a 28-kilometer Wa-Hamile Road worth GHC 82,000,000.00 because of the gift of the vehicle to the Respondent.
Under the circumstance, the Commission finds the allegation that the Ministry of Roads and Highways was in the process of awarding the contract for the construction of the 28 kilometre Wa-Hamile road worth GHC82, 000,000.00 to Djibril Kanazoe through sole sourcing speculative and not supported by the evidence.
Issue 12: Whether the Respondent influenced the award of contracts
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Commission reiterates its earlier finding that the evidence do not shows that the Respondent influenced the award of the two contracts won by Djibril Kanazoe or his company, Oumarou Kanazoe Construction Limited.
Issue 13: Whether the Respondent has conducted himself in a manner that has violated Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana by a receipt of a gift of the vehicle
In the circumstances, the Commission is satisfied that the Respondent’s conduct did not violate Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.