The Director of Legal and Investigative Unit at the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Joseph Whittle has revealed that the headquarters of the commission has taken over investigations into a sexual harassment case filed against the Kpando NADMO coordinator by a former employee for further inquiries into the matter.
Mr. Joe Whittle was speaking to Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on the progress made towards unraveling the truth behind the sexual harassment case filed by Ms Charlotte Kumi against the coordinator.
The National Disaster management Organization (NADMO) recently announced the termination of Charllotte Kumi’s appointment for absenting herself from office duties for over ten days, but Charllote believes the action taken against her is as a result of the accusations she leveled against her boss.
Mr. Whittle explained that even though the Volta Regional office of CHRAJ was handling the matter, the headquarters in Accra asked for all correspondence related to the case when the allegations of sexual harassment was reported by Joy FM.
According to him the fact received from the Volta regional office indicated that there had been some inside investigations into the matter conducted by NADMO.
“There was actually an internal investigation being conducted by NADMO… We have looked at it. The acting Commissioner is currently pouring over it and we have stopped the Volta regional office from going ahead to empanel investigate the case so that we can take it up here,” he stated.
Mr. Whittle said the decision to bring the case to Accra was also necessitated by the fact that the evidence received indicated that the termination was done by the deputy coordinator of NADMO whiles the organization’s boss Kofi Portuphy responded and forwarded the report on their investigations – the two are all based in Accra.
“We are about to actually take a major step in respect of the investigations into this matter,” he assured.
Mr. Whittle further intimated that the investigation files are very detailed and they are going to subject all the parties to the panel system to ensure that the fine points are all cleared to ascertain who is being truthful.
“I can assure you that her (Charllote Kumi) interest and the interest of the organization (NADMO) will be the basis for taking any interim measure whiles we begin the actual investigations. If it means that we have to let NADMO reinstate her pending the final determination of the investigation, we will certainly do that,” he said, adding the commission would come out with clear time lines towards the completion of investigations by the close of the week.
On the case of the 17-year-old Muniratu Abdul Karim who was withdrawn from the Uthmania Junior High School in Kumasi to marry a sixty-year old Nigerian, Mr. Whittle said the Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) have been able to take the matter to court in the Ashanti region.
He said the girl’s father and the supposed husband as well as other collaborators in the marriage ceremony have all been put before court.
Mr. Whittle pointed out that the DOVVSU has been carrying out the “criminal investigations to the extent that they have preferred charges against those persons who they think directly dealt with the case.
“We don’t make promises that we don’t follow up. The point is sometimes, we need to be a bit more understanding of the investigative process. It may take time because you have to get in touch with persons, you have to elicit documents, you have to give time frames in which some responses have to come in. So they will normally look like there is a delay but invariably the process continues,” he assured.