Deputy gender minister: CHRAJ exoneration will only propel me to do more

The deputy minister of gender, children and social protection, Francisca Oteng Mensah has said that her recent exoneration by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has further strengthened her resolve to serve society.

CHRAJ cleared the deputy minister on allegations of conflict of interest in the procurement of COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitisers during her tenure as board chairperson of the National Youth Authority (NYA).

Breaking her silence since CHRAJ published its findings earlier this month, Oteng Mensah said the decision by the anti-graft body to clear her of any wrongdoing was not only a vindication that she was innocent of allegations levelled against her, but also a motivation to work harder for the people of Ghana.

“I am relieved that the truth has finally come out and that CHRAJ has found me not guilty of any wrongdoing,” she said. “This whole episode has been a trying experience for me, but it has only strengthened my resolve to continue serving my country and my constituents to the best of my abilities.”

“I am more focused now than ever before to deliver on my mandate as the deputy minister for gender. I will continue to work towards the development and empowerment of women in Ghana, and I urge all Ghanaians to join me in this quest,” Mensah, who is also a lawmaker, said.

CHRAJ, on 28 January 2021, received a complaint from one Ismail Mohammed alleging that Oteng Mensah had on 30 March 2020, as the board chairperson of the NYA, presided over a board meeting which set aside GHC3 million for the procurement of PPE for the fight against COVID-19.

The complainant alleged that per her directive at the board meeting, hand sanitisers were procured at an amount exceeding GHC700,000 from Adonko Bitters Limited, a subsidiary of the Angel Group of Companies, a limited liability company owned by Oteng Mensah and her biological father, Kweku Oteng. The complainant averred that the move amounted to conflict of interest.

However, CHRAJ in its report signed by the commissioner, Joseph Whittal, and released on 2 February 2023, dismissed the allegations on grounds that they lacked merit, as investigations conducted by the commission and evidence provided did not support the case of conflict of interest against Oteng Mensah.


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