Home News NDC Struggles To Nail Akufo-Addo

NDC Struggles To Nail Akufo-Addo

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…Over Fight Against Corruption

The opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) attempt to paint President Akufo-Addo a failure with regards to the fight against corruption, despite the many successes chalked by New Patriotic Party (NPP) has fallen flat on the face with many political watchers describing the party as overly desperate for power.  

At a press conference yesterday, the General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the President’s statement on his fight against corruption showed ample proof of his state of denial.

“The President’s defence of the BOST corruption has gone up flames following the outcome on internal investigation which that the whole transaction was illegal and criminal.

When his government was caught selling seats for cash in the infamous Cash-for-Seats scandal, he undermined the Parliamentary inquiry into the matter by prejudicially declaring his appointees innocent even before the inquiry could be concluded.

He put up a similarly robust defence when overwhelming evidence emerged of the inflation of the Oslo Chancery building by $ 8 million. Also, when the deeply corrupt and embarrassing Australia Visa scandal broke, he put up yet another farcical display when he proceeded to clear officials who were supposedly investigated without telling Ghanaians who was responsible for that criminal conduct of Visa racketeering” the NDC chief scribe intimated.

He continued that it is President Akufo Addo’s scandalous embrace of corruption that earned him the dubious accolade of a “clearing agent” and not a phantom effort by the opposition to tag him with corruption. The President leads a government that is primed to engage in corruption and he must admit it.

His notion of tackling corruption is the repetition of false claims and pedestrian propaganda by his PR machinery.

“We wish to submit that this claim is false and challenge the President to publish a full list of all the specific cases of savings. We note that the request for full disclosure on this matter has been outstanding for two years and the reason why the President has failed to show proof of his claim is that there, in fact, is no evidence to back if. In any event, how can any reasonable person trust the A.B. Adjei-led PPA in the face of the contract for sale scandal?” Asiedu Nketia quizzed.

The NDC’s allegations comes on the back of  President Akufo Addo, comment last Monday at the Ghana Bar Association’s annual conference, where he mentioned that 11 accusations of corruption made against his appointees has been investigated or are being investigated.

He said “It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing, or of engaging in acts of corruption. My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant 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 clear the accused persons, not myself. None of these agencies has ever indicated any pressure from the Executive over their investigations.”

Acknowledging the “orchestrated attempts by my opponents to hang the tag of corruption on the necks of my government and myself, despite all the manifest efforts being made to deal with the phenomenon of corruption”, the President had a simple answer for them.

“It will not work. I did not come into public life to enrich myself,” he stressed.

Cataloguing the allegations of corruption levelled against his appointees, the President indicated that, 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.  

More so, Government, according to the President, has systematically increased the funding for the accountability institutions of our 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.

Indeed, the Auditor General, Mr. Daniel Domelevo stated on 18th June, this year, when thanking Government for the “substantial increase in support” his outfit received, said “the Executive has played its part. I hope you are aware when there was a change in government, the first announcement we heard was a ban on procurement of vehicles, is that not it? But this was the time government gave us the permission to buy thirty-four (34) vehicles to support the audit service. We had never bought ten (10) vehicles in the history of the Audit service before.”

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 sympathizer 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 the Ghanaian people and I have in him,” President Akufo-Addo added.

With 21 officials of the previous administration standing trial over their involvement in alleged acts of corruption or causing financial loss to the state, amounting collectively to the tune of some GH¢772 million, the President stated that their trials are being conducted in the normal manner, with the safeguards that the law grants all accused persons, so that due process is respected.

“The courts will, at the appropriate moment, deliver their verdicts,” he added.

The President stated that his government is 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.

President Akufo-Addo again claimed that he has saved the country about GHS 2.7 billion through the rejection of sole-sourced contract presented to the PPA.

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