9, GNA - President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday stated that it was not
within his power to exonerate people accused of graft.
He said though
his commitment to fight corruption was unfazed, he would not be pushed to act
on mere hearsays and allegations against persons in his government, but would
let the accountability institutions do their work.
“It is not my
job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing, or of engaging in
acts of corruption," the President said when he addressed the 2019
Conference of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), in Takoradi, in the Western
"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.
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,” he
Akufo-Addo told the gathering that every single allegation of corruption
levelled against his appointees was being or had been investigated by
independent bodies, such as CHRAJ, the CID, and, in some cases, by Parliament
He said people
ought not to be condemned on the basis of mere allegations because that would
be "the law of the jungle".
was emphatic that attempts by detractors to tag him and his government with
corruption "will not work" because his government was committed to
fighting corruption not just in words, but, more importantly, in deeds.
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”, he said, “will not work.
"I did not
come into public life to enrich myself,” he stressed.
noted that Ghana's most promising avenue to make tangible progress in the fight
against corruption was to bolster and strengthen State anti-graft institutions
to carry out their mandate effectively.
said, had systematically increased the funding for the accountability
institutions such as Parliament, the Judiciary, the Office of the Attorney
General, CHRAJ and the Auditor General.
a 25 per cent increase in allocations to the five institutions over those of
2016; 2018 witnessed a 34 per cent increase over 2017; and the 2019 mid-year
budgetary allocation was virtually at par with 2018,” he added.
the President reiterated the fulfillment of the campaign promise to establish
an independent Office of Special Prosecutor to focus on the prosecution of
The Office, he
said, was up and running, manned by an experienced, well-known prosecutor, who
was 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.
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.
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 were being conducted in the normal manner, with the safeguards
that the law grants all accused persons, so that due process is respected.
will, at the appropriate moment, deliver their verdicts,” he added.
reminded the gathering that many of the actions taken by his Government in
dealing with alleged acts of corruption, were unheard of in times past.
when the ‘punishment’ of erring public officials was their relocation to the
Presidency are over.
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.