President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that clearing his appointees of corruption allegations was the responsibility of institutions mandated to do that.
He said that all corruption claims levelled against his appointees had been thoroughly probed by independent authorities such as the CHRAJ, the CID, and Parliament in certain circumstances.
“It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing, or of engaging in acts of corruption. That is the job of the courts and the law enforcement agencies.
“My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant enquiry and action, including, if necessary, the suspension of the affected official, pending the conclusion of investigations… That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of leadership on January 7, 2017,” he stated.
The President made the remarks on Monday at the Ghana Bar Association’s (GBA) 2023 Bar Conference in Cape Coast.
He cited several instances where allegations of corruption against his appointees were investigated by independent bodies, including those against the then-Minister-Designate for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, at his parliamentary confirmation hearings in 2017; and those against Alfred Obeng, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST).
He also mentioned allegations against the then-two deputy Chiefs of Staff at the President’s Office, Francis Asenso Boakye and Samuel Abu Jinapor; conflict-of-interest allegations against the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta; as well as extortion claims against the then Trade and Industry Minister-designate, Alan Kyerematen, at his parliamentary confirmation hearings in 2017.
The other instances are the allegations of visa racketeering against the then deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Hadzide, and the then Director General of the National Sports Authority, Robert Sarfo Mensah; the Chairperson of the Board of the National Sports Authority, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang; and those of bribery levelled against the Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue, among others.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that all the allegations had been investigated and, in most of cases, cleared by the appropriate state authorities, not by himself.
“The latest episode involving the former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, is evident for all to see. I am not aware of any government in the Fourth Republic subjecting so many of its officials to such investigations and inquiries,” he said.
The President stated that several previous administration officials had been tried and convicted for various corruption-related offences and that several others, including Dr. Stephen Opuni, the former CEO of COCOBOD, and Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader in Parliament, were on trial.
He said none of the accountability institutions of the state, including the new Office of Special Prosecutor, had indicated any pressure from the Executive over their investigations.
“There are some who refuse to accept my method of proceeding and have characterised me as a ‘clearing agent’, because, for them, the mere allegation without more is enough to merit condemnation of the public official.
“For my part, I will not set aside due process in the fight against corruption, no matter how much opprobrium this incurs for me,” the President said.