NDC Begs For RTI Law To Catch Thieves, Describes Appointment Of Amidu As A Road Show

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the appointment of Mr Martin A. B. K. Amidu as the first Special Prosecutor as a roadshow.

According to the party, his appointment is meaningless until the passage into law of the Right to Information Bill (RTI) which will give the citizenry the power to demand information to be used to prosecute thieves caught up in any wrongdoing.

Speaking at a packed press conference yesterday, the general secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia said “without the passage of the RTI bill, the work of the Special Prosecutor will be defective.”

Mr Nketia, popularly known in political circles as general mosquito, said for the work of the Special Prosecutor to be successful and meaningful, people must be able to walk to any government institution or agency to demand for information without any qualm and officials are also obliged to give out information.

“But currently, as I speak to you now, the RTI bill has been withdrawn from Parliament and no one knows when it is going to be relayed. Does this give the impression that the Akufo-Addo government wants to fight corruption? What it is now is that the hands of the Special Prosecutor are tight and it is a lame excuse,” he stated.

Drop in CPI report

General mosquito was speaking in relation to the 2017 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which scored Ghana 40% and 81st position, a drop of 11 points from the 2016 score of 70th position and a percentage point of 43.

He said all indications point to the fact that the Akufo-Addo led NPP government within a space of one year has failed to put in place the necessary measures to at least maintain the country’s position or even perform better. “This disastrous showing is the worst performance Ghana has chalked in the last six years or since 2012.”

NPP responsible

General mosquito said instead of the NPP government accepting and working towards bettering the lots of the country to improve investor confidence, the government is rather blaming the previous government while records clearly show that out of the nine data sources used, only two or 22% were traceable to 2016.

“The remaining seven items or 88% emanated from the 2017. This means that an overwhelming majority of data sources used in this survey were based on happenings in the first year of President Akufo-Addo government. So the assertion that the 2017 CPI corruption report was mostly the happening of the previous government was completely false,” he added.

Corruption scandals

The general secretary revealed that the Akufo-Addo led NPP government had lost the moral grounds in the fight against corruption because his government is too early to be tainted with too many corruption issues such as the BOST/ MOVINPINA scandal, the 2.25 billion dollar Ken Bond, the GHȼ 22m worth of pre-mix fuel saga, cash-for-seat scandal and many others where the President had downplayed the effect of such all important corruption issues.

“We are also aware that the Akufo-Addo government has become the butt of jokes and derision in both the foreign and local business community for the aggressive manner in which ministers’ demand and collect bribe or kickback from contractors and other service providers,” he stated.

He added that for the first time in the history of the country, a President had appointed her own daughter to a government position and also a woman he had a child with as the Ambassador to the Czech Republic. “This is an addition to the army of cousins, nieces and other relatives in various positions in the public sector.”

Commitment to fight corruption

The NDC scribe said there was an urgent need by the NPP government to take up the fight against corruption seriously and not reduce it to the creation of the office of the Special Prosecutor.

He, therefore, called on faith-based organisations, media and moral society to rise up and demand accountability from the NPP government the same way they demanded accountability under the previous government.