The president of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has made it clear that this NPP government has undertaken the boldest initiatives ever to reform and strengthen the capacity of the nation’s institutions to tackle corruption in the public sector. The president revealed this on Friday, 10th December 2021 as he deliver the keynote address at the National Anti-Corruption Conference. This was organized by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
According to the President of this Republic, his government has fought corruption not in words, but in concrete deeds.
“government has fought corruption not in words, but in concrete deeds. We have shunned mere exhortations and showy denunciations of unproved corruption. It has been a holistic approach.” He said.
The President also stated “we have protected the public purse, we have made institutional reforms, we have enacted additional, requisite laws, and we have resourced more adequately the accountability organs of state. Our fight against corruption has been grounded on legislative, financial, and institutional action, and not on lip-service.”
Talking about what he has done to ensure the fight against corruption, he stated that made sure that every single alleged act of corruption levelled against any of his appointees have been investigated by independent bodies like CHRAJ, the CID, and, sometimes the parliament.
prove his point, he said, “following recommendations from CHRAJ, based on their investigateion, I removed him from office in October 2020, and the Office of Special Prosecutor is seized with the matter of prosecution. If an appointee is cleared of any wrongdoing, the evidence adduced and recommendations made by these agencies, after the investigations are concluded, are what clear the accused persons, not myself.”
He continued “there are some who refuse to accept my method of proceeding, and have characterised me as a ‘clearing agent’, because, for them, the mere allegation without more is enough to merit condemnation of the public official, even though they did not apply this principle when they were in office. For my part, I will not set aside due process in the fight against corruption, no matter how much opprobrium this incurs for me.”
To foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs told the gathering that his government has ensured the passage of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989). He also revealed that Parliament has passed the Witness Protection Act, 2018, (Act 975).
The Revenue Administration (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1029), Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982), State Interests and Governance Authority Act, 2019 (Act 990), Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044), Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act, 2020 (Act 1015), Companies Act, 2019(Act992), Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) and Real Estate Agency Act, 2020 (Act 1047) are the laws passed by his administration, and which have enhanced the fight against corruption.
Last year, the president stated that the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Act, 2020, (Act1034), was passed to amend section 239 of the Criminal Offences Act, to categorise the offence of corruption, previously a misdemeanor, as a felony, and to guarantee stiffer punishments of terms of imprisonment of not less than twelve (12) years and not more than twenty-five (25) years in prison.
“The establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor represents the most courageous measure by any government, since independence, to prosecute corruption in the executive arm of government. The monopoly of prosecutorial authority by an Attorney-General, hired or fired by a President, had been identified by many as a key factor standing in the way of law enforcement and prosecution as a credible tool in the fight against corruption before 2017,” he added to his claim of taking the boldest step to fight corruption.