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I don’t Clear Accused Persons; Recommendations from Institutions do President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday said the responsibility to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing does not lie within his purview.


He said allegations of corruption are referred to relevant investigative agencies for appropriate enquiry and necessary action.


“That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of leadership on 7th January 2017. If an appointee is cleared of any wrongdoing, the evidence adduced and recommendations made by these agencies, after the investigations are concluded, are what clears the accused persons, not myself. None of these agencies has ever indicated any pressure from the Executive over their investigations.”


President Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the 2019 Conference of the Ghana Bar Association in Takoradi, Western Region.


The President stated that “it cannot be the case that people are condemned on the basis of mere allegations. That is the law of the jungle.” Cataloging a litany of allegations of corruption leveled against his appointees, President Akufo-Addo said every single alleged act of corruption is being or has been investigated by independent bodies, such as CHRAJ, the CID and in some cases, by Parliament itself.


“From the allegations against the then Minister-Designate for Energy at his parliamentary confirmation hearings; to that against the former CEO of BOST; to those against the two deputy Chiefs of Staff; to the conflict of interest allegations against the Minister for Finance; to the claims of extortion against the Trade and Industry Minister; to allegations of doubling in visa racketeering against the then deputy Minister for Youth and Sports.

 

"The then Director-General of the National Sports Authority, who, even though exonerated by the CID, later resigned, and the Chairperson of the Board of the National Sports Authority; to the allegations of bribery levelled against the Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining; to the latest involving the suspended acting CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and the dismissed CEO of the National Youth Authority — they have all been investigated or are being investigated by the authorised institutions of our state, and not by President Akufo-Addo,” he stressed.


The government, according to the President, has systematically increased the funding for the accountability institutions of State, such as Parliament, the Judiciary, the Office of the Attorney General, CHRAJ and the Auditor General.


“2017 witnessed a 25% increase in allocations to these five institutions over those of 2016; 2018 witnessed a 34% increase over 2017, and the 2019 mid-year budgetary allocation is virtually at par with 2018,” he added.


Additionally, the President reiterated the fulfillment of the campaign promise to establish an independent Office of Special Prosecutor to focus on the prosecution of corruption-related offences.


The Office, he said, is up and running, manned by an experienced, well-known prosecutor, who has been an active member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, and cannot be described, by any stretch of the imagination, as a member or sympathiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party.


“His appointment was deliberate to highlight the independent nature of the Office. I am optimistic his work will justify the confidence Ghanaians and I have in him,” President Akufo-Addo added.


The President stated that his government was committed to fighting corruption not just in words, but, more importantly, in deeds.


“Many of the actions taken by this government in dealing with alleged acts of corruption, and much of the narrative I have outlined, were unheard off in times past. The days when the ‘punishment’ of erring public officials was their relocation to the Presidency are over. Where prosecutions are called for, they have been or will be initiated. The war against corruption will not be won overnight, but, with political will, it will be won,” he added.

 


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)

Created: 10 September 2019
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