The Human Rights Court yesterday dismissed an application for judicial review filed by a former Minister of Health, Dr George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, praying the court to compel the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to hear him in the Mabey and Johnson (M&J) bribery cast.

According to the court, it would be prejudicial for it to order CHRAJ to hear Dr Yankey because six other persons affected in the matter had also filed an application praying the court to prohibit the CHRAJ from hearing the bribery case in its entirety.

In the motion, Dr Yankey sought an order of certiorari quashing the decision of CHRAJ to suspend the hearing into allegations of corruption in respect of the operations of M&J in Ghana.

He also prayed for an order of mandamus directing and compelling CHRAJ to perform its constitutional and statutory duty by granting him an expeditious hearing into the allegations of corruption.

The Presiding Judge, Mr Justice U.P. Dery, held that the rights of Dr Yankey were not abused when CHRAJ decided to indefinitely adjourn hearing into the M& J bribery scandal, pending the outcome of action instituted by six other persons.

The six are praying the court to issue an order of prohibition to prevent CHRAJ from conducting any further hearing into the allegation of corruption in the M&J investigations.

The six – Mr Kwame Peprah, Alhaji Baba Kamara, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Brigadier-General Lord Attivor and Dr Ato Quarshie – are alleged to have compromised themselves during M&J’s operations in Ghana between 1993 and 2006 but they have denied any wrongdoing.

In an application for judicial review, the six accused the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr Francis Emile Short, of discussing the pending case before ‘the Commission extensively on a Metro TV programme and making very prejudicial statements on the matter.

According to the applicants, Mr Short was heard on “Good Evening Ghana”, a current affairs programme on Metro TV, as stating that the preliminary objection raised on the jurisdiction of CHRAJ to investigate private individuals was incompetent and would be dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Based on that writ, the court held that it would have been contemptuous if CHRAJ had gone ahead to hear the matter when such a suit was pending against it.

Mr Justice Dery ruled that the decision by CHRAJ to suspend its sitting in the case was administrative and not judicial because it communicated its decision through a letter to the applicant and the six others.

Reacting- to the court’s decision, counsel for Dr Yankey, Mr Kwame Gyan, said his client was awaiting the outcome of the application for judicial review to enable him to decide the next line of action to be taken.

Counsel for CHRAJ, Mr Thaddeus Sory, prayed the court to award costs against Dr Yankey but the court declined.

In a related development, the application for judicial review filed by the six persons has been adjourned to June 4, 2010 following a prayer by counsel for the six for an adjournment because he was short-served’ with CHRAJ’s response to his clients’ application for judicial review.

Although Mr Sory opposed Mr Cudjoe’s request for a short adjournment to enable him to respond to issues raised by CHRAJ, the court upheld Mr Cudjoe’s plea and adjourned the matter.

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