The Ghana Civil Society Organisations Platform (CSOs) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has called for investigations into sexual abuse and extortion allegations against the Ghana Network Association of People Living with HIV (NAP+).
The Platform said it had sighted a couple of publications in the local and international media on those allegations.
“The publications by Reuters and local online platforms reference an 18-page report entitled; Misconduct Affecting Global Fund Grants, detailing how representatives of the NAP+ abused their positions of power and fostered a culture of sexual and financial exploitation.”
A release issued by the CSOs Platform and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the publication alleged the abuses took place between 2010 and 2019, where multiple NAP+ executives demanded that programme members engaged in sexual conduct or provide financial kickbacks in order to access events and benefits supported by Grant Funds.
The CSOs described the conducts as “corrupt and coercive practices” saying the gravity of the allegations gave a worrying concern to all well-meaning CSOs, particularly those who work to promote social justice, equity, integrity, transparency, and accountability.
“Based on this, the leadership of the Ghana CSOs Platform on the SDGs encourage the mandated governmental investigative institutions to immediately pay attention to this developing story, investigate, ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the story and take the necessary remedial actions,” the release said.
The Platform condemned in no uncertain terms any such act of abuse and exploitation of projects, principals or beneficiaries.
It called on the leadership of NAP+ to “come clear on its position regarding these allegations to bring clarity on the said publications.”
“The leadership should also be clear on how this issue and the allegations, if true, may have been handled.”
The Platform demanded to know the actions taken by the Global Fund in relation to the publications and said a transparent management of the case was the best way to demonstrate good governance, transparency and accountability by CSOs.
It admonished the organisations to exhibit professional ethics in their work and be proactive in dealing with issues that had the potential to give bad publicity to the broader CSO space.
The Platform said it stood in readiness to work with the Management of the Global Fund and NAP+ to address the issue to ensure the effective running of services to persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Mr Kwadwo Oteng, the National Coordinator of CSOs Platform on SDGs, appealed to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service, and related agencies to take up the matter as the issues fell within their mandate.
He said truth must be unearthed in this allegation and those found culpable should be brought to book to serve as deterrent to others.