The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. is in support with President John Mahama’s directive to investigate and prosecute all offenders captured by the Auditor General for squandering state funds and assets.
According to him, the choice of the president to direct the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to set up a special desk to prosecute those offenders is not constitutionally mandatory since the Chief Justice and Parliament are obliged to do so by the constitution.
Mr. Pratt seeks to find out why the Financial Tribunal has not been established over the years since it is constitutionally required.
“What the President said is good but by our 1992 constitution, there is a provision we must work with. If you look at the constitution, it is the duty of Parliament and the Chief Justice to set a financial tribunal to fight these kinds of cases and if offenders are found guilty by the Auditor General for disbursing state funds they will be prosecuted.
“…what we must ask is that, why for all these years, since 1992, the financial tribunal has not been established to function. What is preventing us to establish what the constitution demands? That is what we have to talk about. We agree with what the President said but the question is when will government see to it that the financial tribunal is established to prosecute offenders? He questioned.
President John Mahama has directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to set up a special desk to investigate and prosecute all offenders who have been captured in the reports of the Auditor General concerning squandered state funds and assets.
President Mahama says the directive and its implementation is part of efforts toward forestalling corruption in public offices.
He believes this will send a strong warning to public officials that they cannot abuse state finances and resources and go scot free.
But speaking on Peace FMs “kokrokoo” programme, the outspoken seasoned journalist says the Auditor General’s report has become mere paper work as the same discrepancies in the annual report keep recurring.
He however said the picture being painted is that civil servants and politicians can loot all they can from state coffers since no law can bite.
He strongly believes the time for the establishment of a financial tribunal to handle such matters as provided for in the constitution is long overdue.