CHRAJ Commissioner, Joseph Whittal

Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has said public officers are not interested in complying with the Asset Declaration Law.

Speaking on JoyFM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, May 31, Joseph Whittal said this is because they (public officers) do not want to disclose what they had before coming into public offices.

He said this has made it difficult for the Commission to thoroughly investigate corruption cases brought before it.

With this lamentation, Joseph Whittal wants the yet-to-be laid 2022 Conduct of Public Officers Bill to bite hard on persons who fail to comply with same.

“We want to see what assets, liabilities, and property that public officers have declared. So that we can make up our minds whether they are speaking the truth or not.

“That is what we want. I think that is the signal the problem gave throughout, but it appears the public officers who are running the government are not interested in doing so.”

On the same demands, a Policy think tank, OccupyGhana, is also demanding the immediate passage of the 2022 Conduct of Public Officers Bill into law.

It wants all unconstitutional extensions of time given to public officers to declare their assets removed.

“This draft Bill proposes, among others, to remove the unconstitutional extension of time given to public officers to declare assets and liabilities, something that OccupyGhana has campaigned for and demanded for well over five years,” the group in a statement said.

What has ignited the conversation?

The issue came forward after Ghanaians accused some government officials of attempting to illegally acquire lands at the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The outcry was a result of President Akufo-Addo signing an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

However, even before the dust settled, another jaw-dropping discovery was unearthed in the will of the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.

In the 12-page document, it emerged that the politician owned some parcels of land in the Forest Reserve which he has passed on to inheritors forever.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.