The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has criticised the president for saying citizens who make corruption allegations against his appointees should first provide evidence.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made the comment during his media encounter on Wednesday.
He said, “I have made it publicly know that anyone who has information about acts of corruption against any of my appointees should bring it forward and should be prepared to back it up with evidence.”
The president also said that he has great interest in ensuring that none of his appointees takes undue advantage of their position than anyone else, adding “try me, produce the evidence to back the allegation and see what the response will be.”
But the CDD is unimpressed with President Akufo-Addo’s posture relating to the issue.
Its senior research fellow, Dr Kojo Asante says the move will rather deter whistleblowers from providing information vital to protecting the public purse.
"It should not be the duty of the citizen. Yes, people can allege, but then it should be a trigger for an investigation by the appropriate authorities to then come to a conclusion.
“That is our mandate, as citizens, to ensure that the public purse is protected, so if I come to you and allege that someone has done something, it is your job as the executive with the investigative body to go and investigate,” he added.
Dr Kojo Asante said once investigations are initiated, the person who made the allegation can then be consulted to assist with information. However, a situation where they are being asked to provide evidence is a wrong move.
“This is not some court of law where the person who alleges is the one that has to come and provide evidence and defend. This is a criminal matter. “So this insistence that people should bring evidence is wrong,” he stressed.
The first year of president Akufo-Addo’s administration has been characterised by a series of allegations against his appointees.
From the very onset, Energy Minister-designate, Boakye Agyarko was accused of bribing members of Parliament’s Appointment Committee.
Also, the CEO of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) was also accused of intentionally selling contaminated fuel.
Two deputy Chiefs of Staff – Francis Asenso-Boakye and Abu Jinapor – were also accused of demanding some $20,000 from an investor before he could see the president.
A more recent allegation involving the Trade Ministry, also accused of extorting monies from expatriate businesses in the country is currently being investigated by five-member Committee constituted by the Speaker of Parliament
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