President Akufo-Addo has reiterated that at least 21 appointees of the former administration under John Dramani Mahama, are being prosecuted for corruption-related, ABC News can state.
The appointees of the previous administration, according to the President are standing trial over their involvement in alleged practices of which has caused the nation an amount of Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Million Ghana Cedis (GHc 772 M).
“So far, 21 officials of the previous administration are 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” he stated.
Speaking at the Annual Bar Conference held in Takoradi Monday, President Akufo-Addo noted that the courts handling the trials of these 21 officials will at the appropriate time deliver their verdict concerning the investigations.
“Their trials are being conducted in the normal manner, with the safeguards that the law affords all accused persons so that due process is respected. The courts will, at the appropriate moment, deliver their verdicts” The president stated.
The Akufo-Addo administration has in recent times, come under severe public criticism and scrutiny following ‘week-by-week corruption allegations on some government appointees of the New Patriotic Party.
But speaking at the Conference, the President reduced the criticisms and public outcry to an attempt by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to make himself and his government unpopular.
“It cannot be the case that people are condemned on the basis of mere allegations. That is the law of the jungle. I am aware of 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. I just have one simple answer for them. It will not work. I did not come into public life to enrich myself” he stated.
The President, however, indicated that any corruption allegation against his appointees have or are being investigated by the appropriate institutions in charge of handling corruption cases.
Listed amongst them are the famous fuel contamination saga involving the Former Managing Director (MD) of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST), Alfred Obeng, the Galamsey Fraud saga, involving Presidential staffer and former secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Charles Bissue and the very recent corruption allegation against the CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Agyenim Boateng Agyei
According to the President, it is not his responsibility to ‘clear’ any of his appointees who have or are engaging in acts of corruption, instead, his job is to act any allegations of corruption by referring such issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant enquiry and necessary action.
“So far, every single alleged act of corruption levelled against any of my appointees 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.
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 to 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” President Akufo-Addo remarked.
Source : Abcnewsgh.com