Most monies paid are not bribes – GII

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) says most monies paid by people to public officials were not bribes but rather extortions.

Mr Michael Boadi, Corporate Affairs Manager of GII, said this on Tuesday at a public education forum on corruption and GII’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) at old Ningo in the Ningo-Prampram District.

Mr Boadi explained that most people pay bribes or are extorted when they were in a vulnerable situation and needed a way out.
He added that officials took advantage of their vulnerability and extort monies from them before providing them with the services they were been paid to offer.
He said unfortunately because of the fear of being accused of bribery, such persons find it difficult to report such officials due to the wrong interpretation that “the giver and the taker” of bribes were all liable.
Mr Boadi therefore advised members of the public who found themselves in such situations to let somebody witness for them and report to the appropriate institution later.
The GII Corporate Affairs Manager also urged the public to determine not to pay any unapproved monies to public officials but rather insist on their right, this he added would compel such officials to desist from the act.
He said his outfit realized that until the citizen decided to shun corrupt acts, it would be difficult to eradicate it from the country as according to him, even though governments have been changed since independence with the excuse of being corrupt, none of them have been able to fully uproot the canker.
Mr Eric Nancha, Dangme West District Director for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), speaking on the Whistle Blower Law, said it provided citizens the right to report any corrupt activities either orally or through written to designated institutions including his outfit.
Mr Nancha added that the Commission also handled economic crime, misappropriation of justice, degradation of environment, health and safety dangers, among other corrupt activities.
Mrs Petra De Graft-Johnson, ALAC officer at GII, said the centre was designed to give the public the opportunity to report corrupt officials by dialing toll free numbers.
Mrs De Graft-Johnson added that such reports would be looked into by the GII lawyers and for appropriate actions to be taken on it.
Miss Gifty Agyeiwaa Badu, Ningo-Prampram District Director of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), called collective vigilance and patriotism to minimize or even uproot corruption.

Source: GNA

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