Politics of Wednesday, 7 November 2018
The opposition NDC has descended heavily on the governing NPP for the actions taken against a Regional head of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO).
The Eastern Regional Director, Fred Dzeny was asked to step-aside for disciplinary proceedings to follow after he suggested during a presentation at a forum that government has to begin to corruption fight from within.
He said that is the surest way to send signals to all others including opposition and public sector workers that government is upbeat about the fight against the deadly canker.
But reacting to the actions of government, the largest opposition party in a press release signed by its General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia challenged government to attach the seriousness and urgency it dealt with the Eastern Region Director to cases of alleged corruption within their government.
Such an act, the NDC General Secretary believed, “has become clear that President Akufo-Addo’s lofty rhetoric about fighting corruption is only a ruse to witch-hunt political opponents and not a reflection of a sincere desire to address the problem frontally.”
The NDC also dared the president to “order credible investigations into the uncountable number of corruption scandals involving his appointees with the view to bringing offending officials to justice”
Below is the full detail of the press release.
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS STATEMENT ON VICTIMIZATION OF EASTERN REGIONAL EOCO DIRECTOR
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has learnt with total shock, the suspension of the Eastern Regional Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Mr. Fred Dzeny, for urging government to prosecute corrupt officials.
Mr. Dzeny’s suspension is yet another manifestation that the New Patriotic Party government, led by President Akufo-Addo, has no intention of curbing corruption or punishing its officials engaged in same.
We are outraged that Mr. Dzeny’s innocuous comments about the need for commitment and colour-blindness in the fight against corruption, should lead to such open and brazen victimization by a government that has the responsibility to rid our nation of the canker.
The draconian punishment meted out to the gentleman is further indication of the growing but misplaced sense of invincibility and the impunity of the Akufo-Addo government.
Through this singular action, it has become clear that President Akufo-Addo’s lofty rhetoric about fighting corruption is only a ruse to witch-hunt political opponents and not a reflection of a sincere desire to address the problem frontally.
Otherwise, we are at a complete loss as to how a call for the prosecution of corrupt officials irrespective of their political affiliation, should warrant the suspension of the Eastern Regional Director of a key anti-corruption agency like EOCO, whose mandate it is to unearth corruption.
Mr. Dzeny’s victimization is not only another setback to the anti-corruption agenda, but it also reflects panic and a jittery disposition on the part of a President who has supervised a government apparatus that churns out corruption scandals at an unprecedented rate. He has since assuming office, robustly defended acts of corruption and wrongdoing by his appointees and presided over many cynical and farcical cover-ups to protect them from justice.
The BOST/Movinpiina scandal, the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing scandal, the Metro Mass scandal, the GHS 22 million pre-mix scandal, the Cash for Seats scandal, the $2.25 billion Ken Bond scandal and the recent Ghana Maritime Authority scandal are but a few of the legion of corruption scandals that have broken out in the 22 months of Mr. Akufo-Addo’s Presidency.
President Akufo-Addo himself has questions to answer for his role in the $ 1 billion AMERI Novation scandal which he gave Executive Approval for and which would have resulted in an $ 800 million rip-off but for the vigilance of Civil Society and the Minority in Parliament. We remain unconvinced by claims that he was misled into giving approval for such a colossal contract.
We demand an immediate reinstatement of Mr. Dzeny and a discontinuation of any purported disciplinary action against him as we believe strongly that he has committed no offence by drawing attention to the need to deal with corruption irrespective of whose ox is gored.
Rather, President Akufo-Addo should order credible investigations into the uncountable number of corruption scandals involving his appointees with the view to bringing offending officials to justice. This must include revelations by Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi that the President and other top government officials can be bribed with large sums of money to award lucrative contracts to potential investors.
We note that while victimizing Mr. Dzeny, the Executive Secretary of EOCO, ACP K.K. Amoah, has gone past retirement at age 65 years. It is this illegality which must be corrected, not the harmless comments of an obviously conscientious Eastern Regional Director.
Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah