Government need to demonstrate strong commitment to fight corruption – Anti-corruption Group

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has Government to critically look at the processes initiated to investigate the actions of public officials which led to the payment of money to Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a businessman.

It said “The mix-ups and slip-ups surrounding the Woyome Judgement debt should be a source of worry to every Ghanaian, as it badly exposes severe weaknesses in the exercise of discretionary power by public officials, who are supposed to act solely and exclusively in the public interest.

“Additionally, it called to question the political class’ commitment to fight corruption and promote accountability when they are unable to differentiate between party and government.

“This is a systemic problem that requires bi-partisan response and sobriety to ensure that the ordinary Ghanaian taxpayer does not bore the brunt of these kinds institutional failures.”

The GACC made the call in a statement issued in Accra and jointly signed by Reverend Dr Fred Deegbe, Chairman and Ms Florence Dennis, Executive Secretary.

“We urge the State institutions in the chain of accountability, including the Controller and Accountant General, the Auditor-General and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, to come out once and for all to end the speculation and political ‘football’, by establishing the facts related to the amounts of monies paid so far to Mr Woyome.

“We also entreat the Acting Attorney-General to expedite action on the parallel legal process initiated by his predecessor, as directed the President.”

The statement said the allegation of political interference in the Attorney General’s mandate of prosecuting corrupt public officials in the ensuing Judgement debt case, confirmed the challenges confronting the dual role of the Attorney General as the principal legal advisor to the Government and also the initiator of public prosecution.

“In this light, we renew our call for the decoupling of the Attorney Generals Department from the Ministry of Justice to insulate corruption prosecution from suspicion of political interference and enhance the country’s anti-corruption drive.”

“We, urge the ousted Attorney General to provide all the information he has on the case to any of the independent anti-corruption institutions tasked with investigating the case, using the appropriate channels while protecting his integrity. ”

“Lastly, we refer to the Government’s recent membership of the Open Government Partnership, which requires it to be committed to be open and transparent in its activities, ensure civic participation in governance and exhibit the highest standard of professionalism and integrity in its administration.

This should not be a mere rhetoric but translated into action in this case.”

“We would also like to use this opportunity to urge all citizens, especially public and civil servants, and political appointees to use the safeguard that is offered under the Whistle-blower Act, 2006 (Act 720), to report on cases of malpractices to ensure that they are not mishandled by any political figure.”

The GACC said it had followed with concern the unfolding controversies and confusion related to the Woyome judgment debt case.

It said the confusion had been worsened by the events leading to dismissal of the former Attorney General, Mr Martin Amidu, in the light of these recent events.

Source: GNA

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