I’ll serve more after CHRAJ exoneration — Dep. Minister for Gender
The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Francisca Oteng Mensah, has said that her recent exoneration by the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on allegations of conflict of interest in the procurement of COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitisers during her tenure as the Board Chairperson of the National Youth Authority (NYA) has strengthened her resolve to serve Ghanaians and to contribute her quota towards the development of the country.
Speaking to journalists for the first time after the commission published its findings earlier this month, Mrs Oteng Mensah said her exoneration by CHRAJ was not only a vindication that she was innocent of the allegations, but also a motivation to work harder for the people of Ghana.Follow @Graphicgh
"I am relieved that the truth has finally come out and that CHRAJ has found me not guilty of any wrongdoing.
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 a deputy minister.
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," she said.
On January 28, 2021, CHRAJ received a complaint from one Ismail Mohammed alleging that Mrs Oteng Mensah had on March 30, 2020, as the Board Chairperson of the NYA, presided over a board meeting which set aside GH¢3 million for the procurement of PPEs 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 GH¢700,000 from Adonko Bitters Limited, a subsidiary of the Angel Group of Companies, a limited liability company owned by Mrs Oteng Mensah and her biological father, Kwaku Oteng.
The complainant averred that the move amounted to conflict of interest.
Dismissal of allegation
However, CHRAJ, in its report signed by the Commissioner, Joseph Whittal, and released on February 2, 2023, dismissed the allegations on grounds that they lacked merit, stating that investigations by the commission and evidence provided did not support the case of conflict of interest against Mrs Oteng Mensah.
The deputy minister, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre East in the Ashanti Region, expressed her gratitude to the commission, and stated that the exoneration would only serve to motivate her to do more in her portfolio.
She thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and her constituents for their unwavering support and encouragement during the time of the investigation, and stated that she was committed to serving the nation with integrity and dedication.