Independent Institutions must cease being puppets to govt’s in power- Expert

A governance expert says the country’s independent institutions are gradually becoming puppets to the party in power, a practice which is worrying for the development of the country.

Dr Eric Oduro Osae is bewildered by the practice in which some of these independent institutions become  assertive only when there is change in government and goes to sleep until a new government comes to power.

His comments come in the wake of a one month ultimatum issued by the Economic and Organised Crrime Office to the brother of the former president and business magnate Ibrahim Mahama.

Mr Mahama is said to be indebted to the Ghana Revenue Authority to the tune of over Ȼ16 million in duties after his two companies imported cars and heavy equipment into the country in 2015.

MBG Ltd, a heavy duty equipment dealer, is said to be owing Ȼ13.15 million in duties for transactions in November 2015.

The other company, Holman Brothers, owed as of December 2015, an amount of Ȼ3.71 million.

Reports suggest the business man had issued several cheques to the GRA but all of them were dishonoured.

The GRA entered into an arrangement with the business man to pay monthly penalties for defaulting in the payment of the duties. Even that has been breached as well.

The EOCO has entered the fray with an ultimatum for the business man to pay or risk a jail term.

Dr Eric Oduro Osae said the practice in which independent institutions chase officials of former administrations for supposed offences while turning a blind eye on officials of sitting governments is unacceptable.

He said with this endemic practice, independent institutions will no longer be independent in nature and function.

Dr Osae believes the mode of appointment of the heads of these institutions is largely to be blamed for such unfortunate practices.

By law, the heads of some of these institutions are appointed by the president, a practice the governance expert makes the executive president too much powerful.

He would rather the Public Services Commission is tasked with the responsibility of appointing these heads, adding these appointees must be given a security of tenure to insulate them from any form of governmental control or influence.