A member of the national communications team for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Felix Kofi Munkoh has hit hard at the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government for its reluctance to clamp down on corruption in the country.
He believes the lack of logistics to resource the office of the Special prosecutor, Martin ABK Amidu, is a clear indication that the Nana Akufo-Addo government adores graft at the highest level of government and is not ready to go after corrupt officials.
A renowned private legal practitioner and a close pal to the president, Akoto Ampaw last week said not enough commitment has been shown by the various bodies in Ghana’s criminal justice system to prosecute corrupt public officials, saying persons within the justice system who benefit from acts corruption within the public service feel reluctant to prosecute such crimes.
But Mr Munkoh, popularly known as ‘Abusuapanyin’, who was speaking on ‘inside Politics’ on Radio XYZ 93.1 Wednesday observed the NPP-led government has no interest in combatting graft, thereby rendering the Special Prosecutor useless almost a year after he was sworn in.
The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, in September this year, said he was being frustrated on his job. One of the major challenges he pointed as hampering his work aside his office being under-resourced was the failure of some appointees of President Akufo-Addo to collaborate with him in combatting corruption.
He disclosed this when speaking at the National Audit Forum which was organised by the Ghana Audit Service and warned that if his office was not fully the resourced to deliver, his position would be of no use.
“I am saying this for the public to understand that we have set up an office. We have to organize that office, have the requisite personnel. It does not take one day. The law says 90 days after the assumption of office of the Special Prosecutor, pursuant legislation must be enacted, but as I speak today, I have no legislation so I use my common sense,” the visibly worried Special Prosecutor added.
Attorney General’s Jab
No sooner had Mr Amidu gone public over his frustrations in his office than the Attorney General, Madam Gloria Akufo, bit him for his claims.
She said there was nothing as dishonest on the part of Mr Amidu as his tantrums in the media.
“I have held meetings with him [Amidu] that requires sharing ideas about the goings on in the banking industry, we have shared ideas about how we should go about investigating and prosecuting it, there’s no time that he had sought to speak with me that I haven’t spoken to him,” she said in an interview with Starr News and explained that the process of resourcing him was ongoing.
“I can’t get up and go and buy machines and put in the place and for that reason the Chief of Staff has taken the responsibility to see to it that these things are done. So if you begin to speak like that, it is as though the impression has been created that I have been virulent in my duty to set up that office. I’m saying that’s not the case,” she said.
Parliament passed a law in November 2017 to establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor as a specialized agency to investigate specific cases of corruption, involving public officers and individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices, but the operations of the office are not going on smoothly.
On Friday, February 23,2018, President Nana Akufo-Addo sworn in Martin Amidu as Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor at the Flagstaff House in the presence of the Vice President, Chief of Staff, Attorney General and other government officials.
That was after the former Attorney General had received unanimous approval from Parliament after his vetting.
After Mr. Amidu had been sworn in, elated President Akufo-Addo reminded him of the high expectations of the citizenry in the fight against corruption.
“The Ghanaian people expect the office of the special prosecutor to rise to the challenge and to the occasion, and collaborate with other existing law enforcement agencies to fight relentlessly and help eliminate corruption in our public life.”
“We expect the special prosecutor to discharge his duties vigorously with courage without fear or favour, ill will or malice, in accordance with the rule of law,” said the President.
But the NDC communicator described the Akufo-Addo administration as “substandard and inept” in virtually every aspect of governance.
He said some NPP stalwarts who have occupied positions in the current government used to heavily criticise the previous John Mahama administration over corruption while in opposition, but are hampering corruption fight while in government.
To him the current government lacks the wherewithal to resource Mr Amidu’s office for the fear that he will chase NPP appointees over corrupt acts thriving in government.
“He [Akufo-Addo] is not willing to fight corruption,” he said and explained that if it were so the government would resource Mr Amidu and not render him “useless”.
By: Henryson Okrah/Myxyzonline.com