[email protected] Commission of Inquiry Winds Up

The [email protected] Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Thursday winded up its public hearings after taking the submissions of 238 witnesses, who were directly or indirectly involved in the 50th Independence anniversary celebration. Commission Chairman; Justice Isaac Duose, said after Thursday's sitting that the body would retire and compile its report, which would be submitted to President John Evans Atta Mills as the law required. He said even though the Commission's public hearing had been concluded, it was expecting memoranda from the public on the way future national events should be conducted to avoid some of malfeasance that was exposed. Justice Duose thanked all the people "who have supported or disagreed with the Commission's views". He said the Commission's work was to find better module of how the country should be run and apologised to anyone who was offended by their utterances. "We are humans and we apologise unreservedly for any omissions and ask them to forgive us unconditionally." Justice Duose, who is an appeals court judge, said that in few weeks the report of the Commission would be ready, adding, "We are not expecting our report to satisfy everyone, but the report would cover everything." "We hope the report would move the country forward and shape the future of this nation," he said. He thanked the media for their reportage, even though there were negativities with some reports. The Commission, which commenced its public hearings at the Conference Room of the Old Parliament House building in Accra on Thursday July 23, was to inquire into the activities of the [email protected] secretariat. It was established by the President on June 1, under Article 278 Clause 1(a) of the Constitution and inaugurated by Vice President John Dramani Mahama on June 17. It had 90 days to submit its report. Members of the Commission include Mr. Osei Tutu Prempeh, Former Auditor-General and Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, a Legal Practitioner. The Commission also had Mrs. Barbara Tetteh-Charway and Mrs. Evelyn Keelson as Counsel/Secretaries. The terms of reference of the Commission were to inquire into and report on allegations of improper use of public and other funds; inquire into the use by the Secretariat of any property, movable and unmovable; inquire into any other matter, which appeared to the Commission to be incidental to or reasonably related to the Ghana @ 50 celebrations and to make recommendations in respect of the findings of fact by the Commission. The Commission in the course of the public hearings took submissions and petitions from the district assemblies, regional co-ordinating councils, private entities, service providers, technocrats, construction firms, consultants, the [email protected] Secretariat and the Office of the Chief of Staff. As the hearings progressed, many individuals and corporate entities demanded payments for the various services they rendered to the [email protected] Secretariat.