General News of Monday, 4 December 2017
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Marfo has disclosed that government officials found guilty of engaging in corrupt activities will not be pardoned as investigations are ongoing to prosecute culprits.
He entreated Ghanaians to be patience as the Akufo-Addo administration has made it a priority to get rid of the rapid growth of corruption in the country.
President Akufo-Addo delivering his first State of the Nation Address on February 21st this year described himself as someone who was in haste to transform the country.
The President said, “I have heard it said that I am behaving like a man in a hurry, Mr. Speaker I am indeed in a hurry. The times in which we live demands that we all be in a hurry to deal with the problems we face.”
The Senior Minster said although the President and his administration were eager to bring all corrupt officials to book, there was the need to be meticulous and go through due processes so as to have a firm grip on all culprits.
“He is in a hurry but it must be based on fact and figures. You cannot just be in the hurry to come to wrong conclusions. We have facts on some of them, some of them we are adding. We want to have a fool proof documentation,” he explained.
Mr Osafo-Marfo added, “You are going to go to court, the people will also take lawyers and you are going to debate it, so if you don’t do a good preparation, you will go and loose the case in court. We don’t not want the situation, where because of poor preparation, from our side we lose a case. We must make sure that we prepare well.”
Speaking in the President’s stead, at the launch of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Week in Accra, the Senior Minister said since most of the targeted ‘corrupt’ officials were members of the opposition, there was the need to go to court well prepared to assure victory.
“Investigations are going on, we want to do a thorough work before we come out. We are dealing with political opponents, so we should not use perception to criminalize people, we must do thorough investigations by professionals,” the Senior Minister noted.
Right through his campaign days to his assumption into office, President Nana Akufo-Addo has not failed to make his stance on corruption clear making guilty officials shiver at the thought of what their end would be.
Meanwhile some stakeholders have lost confidence in the government’s ability to fight the menace.
Earlier reports indicate that, Former Chairperson of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, (CHRAJ), Justice Francis Emile Short describing government’s fight against corruption, lost.
“It seems to me that we are losing the fight against corruption. The statistics show that even though there was a slight decrease from 2014 to 2017, if you take the period 2002 and 2017, there is an increase in the level of corruption, especially among the public service institutions – the police and the judiciary. And this is a serious indictment on our state institutions which are responsible for enforcing the laws and making sure that the rule of law is applied,” he is reported to have said.
A deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Richard Quayson was also reported to have said the rate of corruption in Ghana was disturbing.
“It’s so unfortunate, but the fact is, corruption has now become a norm in Ghana. People freely talk about their corrupt intentions and are rather cheered by their friends and described as ‘sharp’ or ‘smart’,” he said.
The issue of corruption is a major issue that has raped the public purses of most African countries as some corrupt officials take advantage of their positions to siphon money from state coffers.