General News of Saturday, 29 December 2018
The Executive Director for the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana) has criticised president Akufo-Addo for consistently defending his appointees accused of corrupt practices.
Henry Kwasi Prempeh said this development is worrying and not only does it make the fight against corruption difficult, but the president is also putting his job on the line in the process.
Speaking on Joy FM/MultiTVs news analysis show Newsfile Saturday, he said, “this tendency of the president clearing his ministers or appointees pushing back allegation not against him but his appointees is a bit worrisome.
“It prejudices the investigations, if any other special prosecutor or something that Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) could have done it, they no longer feel they have the political green light to proceed.”
President Akufo-Addo, while speaking at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg this year said there had been no strong evidence so far against his appointees accused of corruption.
“…if members of my administration are indulging in corrupt acts, any time an allegation is made, I have seen to it that it is investigated…so far, investigations have not yielded any evidence (of appointees indulging in corruption), but it is important that it is known that people of my administration will be subject to scrutiny if they go off schedule,” Akufo-Addo said.
The Akufo-Addo government has been in power for less than two years months, the government has not been spared from accusations of corruption among its top officials.
Recent scandals include the use of about $1 million by the Ghana Maritime Authority CEO to renovate a two bedroom house.
Other allegations that were experienced at the early stage of the NPP government was the diversion of premix fuel, the sale of contaminated fuel by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) Company.
There have also been accusations of corruption levelled against two Deputy Chiefs of Staff by a sympathiser of the NPP, Kwame A-Plus who appears to have smeared the government’s image from the very beginning.
Despite these developments, President Akufo-Addo says none of them has proven his appointees guilty.
His comment was criticized by many including the opposition NDC, who insist that government has failed to make reports of the supposed investigative bodies public.
The party claims such practices is only confirming speculations that Nana Akufo-Addo did not seriously investigate allegations of corruption against his appointees.
Adding his voice, Mr Prempeh said that kind of practice is really not helpful to the fight against public corruption.
According to him, reports of police finishing corruption investigation and handing it to the president is “the unfortunate system we are burdened with.”
Also commenting on the issue, the former boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile Short said corruption is pervasive in the country.
“I don’t think we are fighting [it] we are only dancing around the problem…,” he said.