The Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Woode, has acknowledged receipt of the petition filed by a Member of Parliament demanding the removal from office of the Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
In a letter dated October 20, the First Deputy Judicial Secretary, Juliana Amonoo-Neizer said the Chief Justice had directed her to acknowledge receipt of the petition.
The letter was addressed to MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, who first petitioned President John Mahama to remove Ms Lauretta Vivian Lamptey from office.
Ms. Lamptey paid close to $5,000 monthly rent on her plush AU Village apartment for 33 months while over GHS180,000 was being spent to renovate her official bungalow.
Media reports of the expenditure attracted public opprobrium for the human rights and administrative justice Commissioner.
Annoh-Dompreh said as head of an institution mandated “to investigate complaints of violations of fundamental rights and freedoms, injustice, corruption, abuse of power…” amongst others, Ms. Lamptey could not continue to be in office when there were such allegations of wanton abuse of office against her.
He, therefore, petitioned the president in accordance with the 1992 Constitution which lays down elaborate procedures in removing the CHRAJ Commissioner.
The position of Commissioner being equated to a Court of Appeal Judge, the procedures as they pertain to a Court of Appeal Judge are to be followed in removing the CHRAJ Commissioner.
Article 146 (3) of the constitution states that “If the President receives a petition for the removal of Justice of a Superior Court other than the Chief Justice or for the removal of the Chairman of a Regional Tribunal, he shall refer the petition to the Chief Justice, who shall determine whether there is a prima facie case.”
After sending his petition to the President, the Nsawam/Adoagyiri MP sent a letter to the Chief Justice demanding to know whether the president had exercised his constitutional obligation and forwarded the petition to the CJ.
Responding to the letter, the First Deputy Judicial Secretary said, “I have been directed by the Honourable Lady Chief Justice to inform you that she is already in receipt of a number of petitions for the removal from office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) which were forwarded to the President of the Republic of Ghana.”
She added that, the Chief Justice “…has commenced work on the said petitions and will communicate the outcome to you in due course.”
If a prima facie case of misappropriation, misconduct and low moral behaviour is established against Ms. Lamptey, it would serve as grounds for her removal from office as CHRAJ Commissioner.
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