Amidu Raises Red Flag: Is NPP-Government Under Pressure To Arrest, Prosecute And Jail Perceived Corrupt Officials?

08 December 2017
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Amidu Raises Red Flag: Is NPP-Government Under Pressure To Arrest, Prosecute And Jail Perceived Corrupt Officials?

Be careful what you ask for or what you say. The reason, you may be overwhelmed by the outcome if you succeed in getting your request granted.

You may have unexpected consequences if your wish or dream comes true. And before long you’d eat a humble pie. Certainly, you’ll be tagged a loser, a failure, a coward, a do-nothing government or an incompetent individual.

Politicians all over the world give too much information and too many promises during campaign seasons. In Ghana, they [politicians] promise to build castles in the air, cut taxes for the working class, make Accra look like Dubai, provide every Ghanaian village in the north a dam for irrigation, make corruption a thing of the past and so o and so forth.

Problem is they forget it’s easier said than done and watching the big game from the stands isn’t the same as being a participant or player. Today, one major problem facing Ghana is corruption. The country seems to be basking in it like a pig in slush. Governments over the years have promised to deal with corrupt public office holders and lootees. Indeed it’s a great line citizens like to hear. They cherish it and they tend to have no patience when in their minds’ eye they see them walk and talk in the streets ungagged.

When they realise that the supposed lootees or looters haven’t been arrested, prosecuted or jailed, it becomes an anathema. This explains why a section of the Ghanaian populace seems to be putting pressure on the Akufo-Addo government. And I get that. The language is simply this: if you say you’ve got it, let’s see it get done.

Legal luminary and a former CHRAJ Boss (Commission for Human Rights and Administrative) Justice Emile Short says: “We’re losing the fight against corruption.” Are there facts and figures to back this claim? Unfortunately, I am not privy to that if there are. Nonetheless, we see corruption all around us every day and everywhere.

So would you say some people are asking for more or too much from the 11-month-old administration? And is this the right time for Amidu to raise the red flag?

A red flag warning means there’s a looming danger. It could be a gusty wind, tornado, tsunami or wildfire. Ours is none of the above. As we are well aware ours is the putrid that appears to be drowning us. It’s a warning signaling that corruption is eating up the country, hence, Martin Amidu’s red flag. The former Attorney General in the Mills NDC-administration is cautioning the NPP government which was sworn into office 11 months ago to stay alert.

The anti-graft campaigner thinks the Elephant is sleeping and needs to wake up in order to flush out what he calls ‘moles’ in the public sector. In other words there are moles in the holes and the earlier they’re smoked out the better.

He says: “No reasonable person expects President Nana Akufo-Addo to personally investigate and deal with suspects in fulfillment of his promises of fighting corruption and dealing with past corruption which substantially contributed to earning him the Presidency, stressing such a function should be taken up by his appointees to whom he has assigned ministerial responsibility for security and intelligence, law and order, and particularly justice.”

Mr. Amidu seems to have identified the problems and also have the right antidotes in dealing with the canker.

“One of the problems faced by some of the appointees of the present government is the ability to go beyond the biased advice being proffered to them by the senior public officers they inherited from the previous government. A conscientious and knowledgeable minister should be able, within the first three months in office, to know how many of his officers were recently promoted by the outgoing government and their role in cover-ups in the ministry,” he said.

According to Mr. Amidu the inability of any minister to understand the composition and promotional history of his/her senior public servants upon whom he depends on for advice within the first three to six months meant that “he may be working with moles planted before the demise of the previous government.”

He said the criminal prosecution mounted by the state against Woyome was a ‘sham’ from the get go, stressing that the collaborators of the NDC financier had been left off the hook.

Really! Does this mean the nation is flogging a dead horse or wasting time and resources for nothing?

The former Attorney General claimed the same senior law officers “who thwarted the execution of the judgement and engaged in various spurious agreements with him while their more senior court-going colleagues were in the Supreme Court trying to execute the judgement, are still those in position to advise the present government on outstanding matters related to the case.

Mr. Amidu said in any civilised system of criminal justice administration, the Woyome trial should have been vacated at the instance of the Republic “because of the overwhelming evidence that now-disgraced Justice Ajet-Nasam did not have the capacity to administer impartial criminal justice by virtue of his internalised endemic corrupt nature.”

Has the government failed in f its bid or promise to fight corruption?

If so, what really does it take to fight corruption?

World Bank, an international financial institution headquartered in Washington DC, United States of America seems to have the panacea. Under the topic ‘Governance for Development’ WB provides 10 ways on how to fight corruption. Time and space are of the essence so I won’t be able to provide readers all the 10 ways. Here are few examples:

First the Bank says corruption is not only about bribe. People especially the poor get hurt when resources are wasted .It’s therefore important to understand the different kinds of corruption to develop smart response.

It identifies ‘power of the people’ as the second way: Create pathways that give citizens relevant tools to engage and participate in their governments—identify priorities, problems and find solutions.

Third the Bank advises governments to ‘cut the red tape’: Bring together formal and informal processes (this means working with the government as well as no-governmental group) to change behaviour and monitor progress.

It notes that ‘sanctions matter’ when fighting corruption: Punishing corruption is a vital component of any effective anti-corruption effort.

Finally, WB admonishes governments and institutions to be conscious of time and primacy. ‘It’s not 1999’the Bank says. That simply means we’re no longer in the Agrarian Age but we’re in the Technological Age. Use the power of technology to build dynamic and continuous exchanges between key stakeholders, government, citizens, business, civil society groups, media academia etc.

On Tuesday November 14 2017, Ghana’s Parliament passed the Special Prosecutor Bill. With 77 clauses it’d undergone more than 100 amendments. It’d also been jolted (in October this year) during its earlier introduction at the floor of the august House. However, it wasn’t passed without c a controversy. Basically it’s to do with the issue as to whether the Prosecutor should be immune from prosecution.

The inevitable question is: Who polices the police?

Critics believe the clause gives the official more powers and frees the independent prosecutor from any form of prosecution. But it’s hoped that with the passage of the bill and waiting on the president for his appointment of the investigator Ghana may soon see the government getting down on its promise fighting corruption. Action they say speaks louder than words.

And how has the president reacted to these calls?
This is his reaction: “Prosecuting and jailing people on baseless crimes or common suspicions without supporting facts is definitely yan affront to the rule of law, justice and fairness. Posterity would not forgive those who hurriedly condemn innocent persons into painful jail terms because they want to please a misplaced few in a small corner,’ President Akufo-Addo has said.

“Let’s be patient t’ he says, ‘to allow justice to grind no matter how slow it is.”


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