Mr Bright Sowu, a senior research officer at the Ghana Anti Corruption Coalition (GACC), has challenged Ghanaians to be bold to report individuals engaged in corruption because the canker affected all and sundry.
He said corruption was robbing the country of huge sums of money while a lot of people were suffering from injustice of one kind or another, but Ghanaians remained timid to report for prompt action to be taken.
Mr Sowu said this at a forum organised by GACC to build the capacity of citizens to be able to identify corrupt acts and subsequently report to the mandated institutions for redress.
It was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Public officials on assuming office are made to declare their assets but the contents are never disclosed during their exit and this makes it difficult to determine whether they enriched themselves at the expense of the taxpayer or not,” Mr Sowu said.
He said government institutions must account for monies released after spending and regretted that assets declaration forms were not being fully complied with.
Mr Sowu suggested that the Auditor General must make known all financial irregularities detected during auditing to the public.
“Impress given to public officials are also not for free and so where uncovered, impress are detected, district assemblies should not hesitate to write to banks where the officials have accounts to withhold their salaries,” he said.
He told the forum that the GACC had a team of lawyers and investigators who were dedicated to making follow-ups on all reported cases of corruption in the various communities.
He said corruption went beyond bribery, embezzlement and fraud and indicated that the GACC and other civil society organisations were determined to put pressure on national authorities for a change.
Mr Sowu, therefore, charged the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Attorney General’s Department, the Auditor General and other institutions mandated to fight corruption to sit up.
Reverend Billy Acquah Graham of the GACC expressed regret that some retired public officials were still at post receiving their pensions as well as monthly salaries.
At a similar forum in Cape Coast, Mr Tetteh Tuwor from CHRAJ educated participant on the right sources to report and assured them of maximum protection.
Participants at the forum called on institutions mandated to fight corruption not to wait for people to report cases to them before they act but be proactive by designing concepts to fight the canker.
By:Samuel Adjei Kwarteng