General News of Tuesday, 18 December 2018
Local chapter of Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative has charged Government and its responsible agencies to as a matter of urgency provide an update on all corruption cases that have previously been investigated but have not been concluded.
This they believe is necessary for the fight against corruption and to keep the public informed on these cases since it is their right to be given such information.
Ghana Integrity Initiative advances that unlike times in the past when corruption allegations emerge and ‘die a natural death’ despite reports that investigations have been conducted on them, the current cases of corruption being investigated should not be made to die off.
Addressing a media interaction at the Ghana International Press Center in Accra, Programmes Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Mary Awelana Addah highlighted alleged corruption instances that have been brought to the attention of relevant agencies for investigations to be conducted.
Key among the many corruption cases that were outlined included the Anas Aremeyaw Anas expose of the Ghana Football Association that resulted in the resignation of former FA President Kwesi Nyantekyi; Manasseh Azure’s investigative piece on Joseph Siaw Agyapong’s Jospong Group $74 million dollar waste bin scandal and $98 million fumigation contract awarded 11 companies of Jospong by Local Government Ministry; Metro Mass transit brouhaha where the state reportedly lost $1m as a result of undervaluation of 200 buses; Double salary allegations against MP-Ministers of erstwhile Mahama administration; Ghana bauxite company scandal $90m loss to the state due to unrecorded overloaded trucks; The Australian Visa scandal, 230 premix fuel diversions cited in 2017.
The motive she said is to remind the government of the need to tackle corruption ruthlessly and ensure that offenders have been brought to book.
To this end, Ghana Integrity Initiative is calling on Government to make public evidence gathered from these investigations and make known actions to be taken against persons involved.
The GII Programmes Manager detailed “truth be told, it does not portend well the for the image of this country when the outcomes of widely reported corruption cases are never known by the public. These have implications on our image and they also have implications on the various surveys that are churned out on an annual basis particularly on the CPI (Corruption Perception Index).
GII is of the view that it is the right of Ghanaians to know and therefore, demands an update from the Attorney General and Ministers and Ministries which have oversight responsibilities over the institutions where these alleged acts of corruption took place.”
Posture of public institutions in responding to anti-corruption matters not encouraging
The GII Executive Director suggested that the response of state institutions to enquiries by citizens for information isn’t the best.
She said the posture doesn’t encourage the fight against corruption in any way as it is not welcoming and warm.
Linda Ofori-Kwafo explained that public institutions are a repository of information for the people and are obliged by the constitution to make sure that information is available when needed.
She bemoaned the absence of a Right to Information Law which she hinted will make access to information convenient.
GII Executive Director continued “you are all in this country and you are aware, there is no RTI Bill anywhere which will make it compulsory for state institutions to give us information. Even without information, you know Article 21 of the constitution makes it clear that we are supposed and we deserve to know and have the right to information from public institutions because they keep it for us. At any point in time, we are supposed to have updates on these matters. Media people have followed these matters, we ourselves have actually asked questions several times. Sometimes you write to these institutions to ask for one question and before you get a response a number of questions have been answered for you – meaning, do not come back to us. The posture of public institutions in providing responses to anti-corruption matters sometimes is not really really encouraging.”
We are not always satisfied with investigations
Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Linda Ofori-Kwafo has disclosed the displeasure of her outfit at some of the investigations carried out into corruption allegations in the country.
Linda Ofori-Kwafo suggested that Ghana Integrity Initiative isn’t always satisfied with the reports detailing the investigations into alleged corruption activities of high profiled personalities and people in authority within the Ghanaian setting.
“Sometimes when corruption allegations come up and it involves the big people like parliamentarians and the rest, sometimes the report that comes out, we are not so satisfied but who are you? They say that they have already conducted investigations, completed and it’s over” GII Executive Director told the gathering.