General News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the concrete evidence is needed to prosecute former government appointees said to have engaged in corrupt practices.
According to him, it is not enough to accuse and prosecute someone on grounds of corruption allegations if there is no evidence as such.
He also said that he would not go ahead with prosecutions “just to satisfy the appetite of people that people should be prosecuted.”
The President said this in response to a question asked by Charles Takyi-Boadu of the Daily Guide newspaper at Tuesday afternoon’s media encounter.
Mr Takyi-Boadu sought to find out why the Akufo-Addo led administration was yet to prosecute persons they accused of being corrupt in the Mahama administration in the run-up to the elections in 2016.
In his response, President Akufo-Addo stressed that what was needed was “strong, well-documented, well-researched evidence,” adding that the fight against corruption is a fight against crime and not a fight with political opponents.
“I wouldn’t accept that the process of bringing people before the court in acts of corruption is done for political purposes. They are done because you have evidence, the people who breached the law and thereby caused damage to the public interest… Strong evidence of wrong doing which a court of law can reliably use to convict,” he said.
“To be able to do so, you need to be able to build strong, well-documented, well-researched allegations. There are a lot of allegations in the country, about people in office; many of them have been proved to be or not to be the case. If we are to go ahead with all these allegations, there are a plethora of cases being brought to the court without support. All kinds of allegations have been brought to my notice and there are thorough investigations going on,” he added.
At the moment, the President noted that the investigations are ongoing to ensure that those accused of engaging in acts of corruption are made to face the law.
“There is a lot of work being done which will see the light of day where those allegations are thoroughly being investigated and when the time comes for them to find the error and fully prosecute them…It is my expectation that there will be forensic cases. It will not be an attempt to witch hunt members of the last government,” he said.