The MP for Tamale Central, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, has said the Akufo-Addo-led administration lacks the courage to fight corruption, hence the country’s abysmal performance in the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
Speaking on JoyNews’ AM Show, Mr Mohammed stated that President Akufo-Addo has been unable to prosecute any accused person in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who has been fingered in a corrupt act since assuming office.
“In 2016, the NPP made their campaign at the back of corruption. Tell me one single minister and agency that they didn’t accuse of engaging in corruption. Every single minister was accused of being corrupt. That explained why we (NDC) had to move from 47 per cent to 43 per cent (on the CPI) in 2016. When they came to power, they held a press conference and accused Dr Opuni. The presser was addressed by the current Agric Minister. Dr Opuni was accused of chopping $400million.
In court, they didn’t see the need to talk about $400million. You had Ursula Owusu and Co who came into Parliament with placards stating thieves. All the allegations they made against President Mahama and his appointees, they did not have evidence. They accused Mahama of building hotels in Dubai and the Corruption Index is anchored on perception.”
The MP also said the President has not prosecuted his appointees accused of corruption-related activities.
He noted that former President John Mahama unlike President Akufo-Addo went as far as prosecuting his own appointees culpable to register his commitment to fighting corruption.
“President Mahama had the courage to prosecute his appointees when they did wrong. Corruption is based on perception. You need to investigate and possibly prosecute to establish whether that perception of corruption is real or not. You don’t have the courage to do that.”
But his comment was dismissed by the MP for Anyaa-Sowutuom. Dr Adomako Kissi who revealed that the majority of such individuals have been exonerated.
“The President has been clear that he has subjected all of these accusations to the necessary reviews and so far, a lot of them have been exonerated. Pius Hadzide has been exonerated and I’m sure the documents are there.”
“As for sports tournaments, it has been the norm but it is not right. We never know specifically the amount. The how much and how it was spent, we usually don’t have such information,” he added.
Their statements come after Transparency International (TI) ranked Ghana 73rd out of 180 countries in the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
The body noted that Ghana failed to make progress in the fight against corruption in the year 2021 as the score of 43 is the same as the country’s 2020 score.
“Ghana’s current performance is still below 50 which is the expected average and thus leaves much to be desired,” it added.
Interacting with host, Benjamin Akakpo on Wednesday, Mr Murtala Mohammed noted that since the NPP government touted itself as an anti-graft campaigner, the best it could have done was at least score 50 per cent on the CPI.
According to him, the NPP government has not been able to manage the issue of corruption.
“In 2020, it was an election year, it was understandable, corruption was again featured in the campaign of the NDC and Civil Society Organizations. How about 2018, 2019. You took it at 43 per cent. You had the support of this country in 2017 because you won the elections on the back of allegations of corruption against the NDC, yet in 2017, you reduced it from 43 per cent to 40 per cent.
“You could only increase it marginally in 2018 to 41 per cent. You haven’t maintained it. Our lowest is your highest. The least the people of this country expect from you is to increase it to 48, 49 or 50 per cent,” he said.
For Mr Murtala, government is unwilling to fight corruption. He explained that “in the 2022 budget, the word corruption is mentioned two times. It means that you do not attach seriousness to fighting it.”
On the issue of corruption, President Akufo-Addo has said all allegations of corruption levelled against his appointees so far, have been probed.
“My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant inquiry and necessary actions including if required, the suspension of the affected official pending the conclusion of the investigation. That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of national leadership,” he said.
He made the comment while speaking at the National Anti-Corruption Conference in commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day and the International Human Rights Day, on Friday, December 10, 2021.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has said it is not content with Ghana’s current position on the standings.
The Office says the stagnant performance is “a stark reminder that corruption is and remains a serious and persistent problem.”
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