The Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ms Lauretta Lamptey, has, since August this year, moved into a hotel after the US$5,500 monthly rent for her apartment at the African Union (AU) Village expired.
The daily rate for the hotel is $456.25 being paid in cedis.
Investigations conducted by the ‘Daily Graphic’, following concerns raised by some workers of CHRAJ, indicated that Ms Lamptey was awaiting the completion of her official residence, which is still under renovation, three years after assuming the position.
That means from July 2011 when she was appointed to July 2014 when her rent at the AU Village expired, a period of 37 months, $203,500 ( was spent on her rent accommodation, including utilities.
The official residence, which was occupied by the former commissioner, Mr Justice Emile Short, is currently being redesigned with several variations at her instance, all at a cost of GH¢182,000.
A budgetary allocation of GH¢1.5 million has been made to CHRAJ this year under goods and services.
So far, only GH¢242,000, representing 16.1 per cent of that budgetary allocation, has been released by the government, but further checks indicated that CHRAJ is allocated GH¢500,000 annually to cover accommodation expenses for its entire staff, including those on transfer.
However, between January and August this year, the commissioner alone expended about GH¢120,000, based on a conservative average exchange rate of GH¢3 to $1, on her monthly rent of $5,500.
Some of the workers complained that Ms Lamptey had not reported at her office since April this year.
A web trail of Ms Lamptey’s schedule confirmed that since April she had rarely reported for work. The workers alleged that Ms Lamptey had also moved three of the commission’s vehicles, including her official vehicle, to the hotel.
The vehicles, which the Daily Graphic sighted last Friday, are a Toyota Land Cruiser, with registration number GS 641-Y, a Nissan Sunny, with registration number GN 701-Z, and a Toyota pick-up registered GM 9490-13.
The commission has been largely relying on the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) for support to run most of its programmes.
This year, DANIDA is supporting the commission with GH¢7.5 million to complement the central government’s allocation of GH¢1.5 million.
When contacted, Ms Lamptey explained that the variations she made on her official residence were minor and would not exceed the permitted cost of renovation.
On her stay at the hotel, she said the hotel manager heavily discounted the rate for her when he realised she was the CHRAJ commissioner.
“I’m in a challenging and difficult situation right now and this is caused by the delay in the completion of my official residence,” she told this reporter. When asked about her long absence from her office, she said she had taken her annual leave and would resume in October.
When she was reminded that she had been absent from the office since April, the commissioner, who is also an investment banker, alluded to her frequent international trips and the fact that she had to pack her luggage from the AU Village.
“Oh you mean in April? Oh ok! I get it now; that must be it because since April I have been engaged in several meetings and conferences. And you also know that I have to pack my things in boxes and leave the AU Village,” she explained while sitting cross-legged.
Ms Lamptey is an investment banker and specialist in African capital markets and corporate finance. She was the Head of Corporate Finance at Cal Merchant Bank. Prior to that, she was the Head of the Capital Markets Group at Ecobank Ghana Ltd.
She was also formerly Legal & Corporate Finance Advisor at Loita Capital Partners International, a pan-African investment banking group based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
As a consultant, she has provided legal, financial and investment advice for the government of Ghana on transactions in the mining, natural resources and energy sectors. Ms Lamptey has served on the boards of the Securities Discount Company (SDC) and Gliksten W. A., in addition to serving as a founder member of the board of the Ghana Stock Exchange.
She holds LL.B and BL degrees from the University of Ghana and the Ghana Law School, respectively, and an LL.M in International Business Law from the London School of Economics & Political Science of the University of London.
Source: Daily Graphic