CHRAJ gets support to fight corruption

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Ghana Corruption
Ghana Corruption

Stakeholders in the anti-corruption and accountability space have pledged to aggressively work with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to reduce corruption in the country.

They include the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Office of the Attorney General, Audit Service, Financial Intelligence Centre, Internal Audit Agency, Narcotic Control Commission, Office of the Special Prosecutor, the Police and Parliament.

The stakeholders pledged commitment to the ‘fight’ on Monday when the Commission launched the “2021 Anti-Corruption and Transparency Week”, on the theme: “Building a Culture of Integrity for Generations”.

The Week will be climaxed with the launch of the National Cultural Review Programme and the Schools Integrity Project.

There will also be a High-Level Conference by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to raise people of integrity as leaders among the working population, students, and other bodies, towards taking the campaign to inter-personal levels.

Mr Joseph Whittal, the Commissioner, CHRAJ, said the aim of engagement was to instil confidence in the public towards reducing corruption, poverty and inequality to make the enjoyment of fundamental human rights more meaningful.

Over the years, he said, CHRAJ had unearthed the evils of corruption through whistleblowers and was, therefore, optimistic that this year’s initiatives would yield dividends to place the country on greater heights of progress.

Ms Aba Jacqueline Opoku, the Deputy Executive Director, Intelligence and Monitoring, EOCO, said the only reason for, which people got involved in corruption was for monetary gains and that EOCO, as its core mandate would not relent on its efforts to freeze the assets of anyone culpable.

“We will deny criminals of the proceeds from their crime and trace, track and locate their assets no matter where they may be transferred to, as some people do and transfer huge cash to the account of a six-month of old baby who doesn’t work and pay taxes to escape being identified.

“We will track them and seize them, and I want to put on record that we do not charge fees to conduct investigations into criminal offences,” she said.

Mr Sean Henry Osei, Senior Deputy Manager, Research, Financial Intelligence Centre, bemoaned the blacklisting of Ghana by the European Union over its ineffectiveness in implementing laws to deal with issues of corruption, including money laundering, and tax evasion practices.
He said it was unfortunate how being blacklisted as a country had affected the nation’s reputation with direct and indirect repercussions on individuals and institutions.

“This state of the country affects every facet of what we do, and it is worrying when you are traveling and when you indicate that you are from Ghana, you are thoroughly checked and assessed,” he added.

Mr Osei said the Centre, as part of its contribution to help the nation regain its place on the green-list, would conduct detailed analysis on suspicious accounting reports to develop actionable intelligence for law enforcement agencies to initiate investigations.

Mr Chris Adjin Doku, the Assistant Auditor-General, said as auditing public accounts was his office’s core mandate, the Service would intensify its efforts to ensure that information contained in reports were appropriate and met standards before made public.

Madam Lesline Nyankson, a Principal State Attorney, Office of the Attorney General, said her office saw itself as crucial entity in the fight against corruption and gave assurance to up their game to fight corruption.

Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, the Director-General, Internal Audit Agency, said
the Agency would work with the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to ensure that persons culpable of corruption or transaction midstream were prosecuted before external auditors took them on.

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