Deal with corruption in ‘colourless’ manner – Citizen Watch demands

Corruption has become a social canker and eaten deeply into the fibre of the country. There had been corruption in every administration prior to signing onto democracy in 1992. Corruption still persists in the current democratic dispensation, but the difference will be how a leader deals with this corruption perception.

The Citizen Watch, one of the think-tank groups in the country, is demanding that the Akufo-Addo government not only prosecute the National Democratic Congress (NDC) officials who are found culpable of corrupt activities while in government, but also prosecute everyone who has engaged in corrupt activities.

“It is time for us to drop the party colours and work for Ghana by protecting the public purse. We should not ‘pick and choose; but rather prosecute anyone found culpable.” This was contained in a statement issued in Accra and signed by the Convener, Francis Mensah.

In recent times, there have been so many alleged corrupt cases levelled against some government officials in the NPP administration, which have been referred to investigative bodies like the Commission for Human rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Office of the Special Prosecutor, and Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) – but according to Citizen Watch, this is not enough.

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“We are saying that for those found culpable, their properties should be confiscated by the state and be sold to defray the losses they incurred while in office,” adding that the approach to fighting corruption should go beyond interdictions and resignations.

“We know the president is doing his best to stem the spread of corruption in the country, but we think this is not enough and we are asking him to step-up his game in this direction,” the statement said.

According to the statement, Citizen Watch is asking government to establish a body that will monitor and scrutinise the work of investigative bodies like the CHRAJ and EOCO. The statement quizzes: “Who monitors or scrutinise the work of these investigative bodies to see if they are doing the right thing or not?

“We are human beings and things are bound to happen, but the way you handle them is what makes you a leader. That is why we are saying that the president’s approach to transparency should be furthered,” it said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has suspended the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei, over allegations of corruption and conflict of interest; and referred the allegations involving conflict of interest to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and those relating to potential acts of corruption to the Office of Special Prosecutor “for their prompt action”.

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The corruption claims came in an investigative documentary conducted by former Multimedia Journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni, titled ‘Contracts for Sale’.
Additionally, the Chief of Staff – Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, directed the chief executive officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri, to resign.
This follows a petition brought to the Chief of Staff’s attention regarding a questionable procurement procedure the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has been called in to investigate.

The president’s action or swift response to these acts of corruptions could be graded as satisfactory, but there is more room for improvement, it said.

The statement also called on government to ensure quick implementation of the Right To Information (RTI) law, to deepen the democracy and development of Ghana.
The statement reiterated that Citizen Watch will continue to play its watchdog role for the nation’s development. “We will give praise where it is due and also criticise when the need be.”

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