The coalition of CSOs working against corruption, comprising Amnesty International, GII, MFWA, CDD-Ghana, GACC, CMaC, ACILA, SEND – GHANA, PNA and Penplusbyte in commending President Akufo Addo over the suspension of the Public Procurement Authority [PPA] CEO following the “contract for sale” expose’ had demanded from him and his government a demonstration of real commitment to the fight against corruption.
President Akufo-Addo and his government, the coalition demanded must “suspend the entire Board of the PPA pending investigations from the OSP and CHRAJ.” It explained that ‘’the Board cannot be left blameless in this whole contracting saga as revelations made in the said documentary raises serious concerns about the Board’s understanding of the Conflict of Interest injunction imposed by Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution and how to manage it.”
The coalition also said the Board’s oversight or possible complicity in the possible abuse of the restricted tendering rules requires them to step aside for a thorough investigation to be completed.
The coalition is also asking the President Akufo-Addo-led government to;
Suspend the use of restricted tendering and sole source processes while investigations are underway.
Instruct all other investigative bodies not to initiate or trigger any parallel investigations to the OSP-CHRAJ probe.
Now, inasmuch as the demands by the coalition are laudable and will help to effectively deal with the matter at hand, I have a feeling President Akufo-Addo and his government will not take them on board as far as the investigation is concerned. It is a sad commentary that there is precedence where quite similar demands never received favourable attention, examples of which are here listed;
1. Ghana Integrity Initiative [GII] and Citizens Movement against Corruption [CMaC] had demanded that President Akufo-Addo make public the investigation report on conflict of interest and corruption charges against former Ghana Maritime Authority CEO, Kwame Owusu or have him removed as current Board Chair of GRA which the President ignored.
2. About a year ago, Some CSOs also asked the President to probe claims of interference made by the Auditor General against the Board Chair of the Audit Service. Neither the CSOs nor the public have since heard anything about the outcome of that matter.
3. GII late last year asked President Akufo-Addo to give a status update of all the corruption cases his government is looking into, that the President never heeded.
4. Bono East NPP Regional Chairman, Kwame Bafoe in 2017 petitioned President Akufo-Addo and later added a reminder to investigate and punish then Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kweku Asomah Cheremeh for corruption but that also was never heeded. The Chairman rather was severely brutalized by thugs; nearly killed and had since stopped talking about it. The Minister was later promoted to a bigger portfolio.
5. Also unheeded is the leaked Emile Short Commission report which recommended that the Minister of State in-charge of National Security at the Presidency, Bryan Acheampong be reprimanded for his ultimate responsibility for authorising the operation which resulted in shooting of six people, leaving several others injured during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
6. There is also a public demand to sack or suspend Presidential staffer, Charles Bissue who Tiger Eye caught on tape aiding galamseyers which has also gone unheeded as he rather receives protection at the Presidency. Charles Bissue only stepped aside as Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the fight against Galamsey but still is a Presidential staffer.
This is how grave the situation is; no real commitment and demonstration towards the fight against corruption except rhetoric, lip service, cover-ups, deception and lies.
As I write this, my expectation is that President Akufo-Addo will prove me wrong on this current investigation on the conduct of the badly exposed CEO of Public Procurement Authority.