The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Francisca Oteng Mensah has said that her recent exoneration by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on allegations of conflict of interest in the procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and hand sanitisers during her tenure as Board Chairperson of the National Youth Authority (NYA) has further strengthened her resolve to serve the people of Ghana 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 the decision by CHRAJ 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. 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," she said.
CHRAJ, on January 28, 2021, 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 sanitizers 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, Mr. Kweku Oteng. The complainant averred that the move amounted to a conflict of interest.
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, as investigations conducted by the commission and evidence provided did not support the case of conflict of interest against Mrs. Oteng Mensah.
This, Mrs. Oteng Mensah, who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre East in the Ashanti Region expressed her gratitude to the Commission for clearing her name and stated that the exoneration would only serve to motivate her to do more in her portfolio as Deputy Gender Minister.
She thanked President Akufo-Addo, the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and her constituents for their unwavering support and encouragement during the time of investigation and stated that she is committed to serving the nation with integrity and dedication
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