Kufuor cleared on controversial hotel deal

Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Thursday cleared President John Agyekum Kufuor of corruption charges in a controversial acquisition of a hotel near his house in Accra.
The Commission declared that there was no evidence available to support allegations of corruption and conflict of interest against the President.
Presenting the Commission's report of its preliminary investigations into the allegations made against the President by a section of the media, Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner said there was no evidence before CHRAJ to substantiate the allegations that the President acquired the Hotel and registered it in the name of his son, John Addo Kufuor, also known as Chief Kufuor.
She said there was no evidence that Chief Kufuor served as a front for the President and that the President used National Security considerations and arm-twisting tactics to coerce Anthony Saoud, previous owner of the hotel, to sell it to him.
Further there was no evidence before the Commission to show that Ms Gizelle Yazji, an expatriate and former economic adviser to the government, negotiated on behalf of President Kufuor and assisted him to acquire the hotel.
Bossman said there was no evidence that President Kufuor abused his office, or was guilty of improper conduct or improper influence.
She said evidence before the Commission showed that President Kufuor was neither involved in corruption in relation to the acquisition of the hotel, nor was he in breach of any constitutional provisions relating to conflict of interest.
CHRAJ, Bossman said, had therefore found it unnecessary to embark upon a full-scale enquiry into the allegations made against President Kufuor.
Bossman said that even though Yazji took part in the negotiations for the purchase of the Hotel, at least on two occasions, the three critical people, who dealt with her, - Chief Kufuor, Saoud and David Henric Yeboah, son in-law of Saoud could not agree on her role or who she represented.
"Miss Yazji had not provided any evidence to the Commission linking the President to the Hotel to substantiate her claims that she negotiated for the Hotel on behalf of the President", she stated.
Government officials hailed the decision of CHRAJ, but the minority leader Alban Bagbin said they had demanded a parliamentary enquiry but were denied.
He said the matter would not be allowed to die.

04 Maio 2006 21:34:00

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