Reinstate Passport Director – IMANI

Franklin Cudjoe
Policy think-tank, IMANI Ghana, has demanded an immediate reinstatement of the sacked Director of Passport, Eric Odoi-Anim. This follows the relief of the man from his position under very questionable circumstance, according to IMANI Ghana.

A report from the Herald, newspaper said the gentleman had been sacked for ‘encouraging the activities of passport contractors while in office, thereby frustrating the acquisition of Ghanaian passport through genuine means’

But in a statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by the President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, ‘It is clear that aside the many puerile allegations peddled by the newspaper for the sacking of the professional diplomat, Mr. Odoi-Anim’s purported sacking has nothing to do with his strong advocacy for government to streamline the political influences on the passport issuing process, with respect to issues like Hajj and Protocol.

‘The chaos in that office was certainly not his doing. He was as much victim as anyone else (crazy working hours and all)’, he noted.

This, he said, was because ‘This career diplomat has done all he can to professionalize the Passport Office and some of its major operations. His blowing the lid off the Buck Press (refusal to issue new books) incident and other matters, may have riled some political heavyweights, but the truth is, these challenges were undermining his capability to deliver sound service to Ghanaians.’

Furthermore, he said, ‘No public servant should be subjected to the crazy conditions that were imposed on Mr. Anim-Odoi,’ adding, ‘His arguments about the need to beef up security and efficiency procedures are no doubt inspired by his exposure to international requirements for the strengthening of passport issuing procedures, as part of efforts to fight terrorism and the like’.

IMANI Ghana indicated that it was aware of Mr. Anim-Odoi’s familiarities with the international system at The Hague.

According to the group, if there were genuine suspicions of misconduct that were being investigated, it was important that the Civil and Diplomatic Service, through their own disciplinary mechanisms, initiated the process and exhaust their proceedings ‘but if on the other hand, this habit of using the intelligence services for administrative corrective purposes smacks of police- State ideology, then it should not be encouraged.’

By Christiana Mpra Agyei

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