President of the Republic Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has declared that independent agencies including CHRAJ, the CID, and, in certain cases, Parliament itself had looked into all claims of corruption brought against his appointees.
“It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing or of engaging in acts of corruption,” said President Akufo-Addo. The judiciary and law enforcement are responsible for that.
On Monday, September 11, 2023, in Cape Coast, the President addressed the Ghana Bar Association’s 2023 Bar Conference and stated that “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 7th January, 2017.”
He continued by listing several instances where impartial agencies have looked into claims of corruption against his appointees.
From the allegations made against the then-designated minister for energy, Boakye Agyarko, at his parliamentary confirmation hearings in 2017, to those made against the former CEO of BOST, Hon. Alfred Obeng, to those made against the then-designated deputy chiefs of staff at the Office of the President, Hon. Francis Asenso Boakye and Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor, to those made against the then-designated minister for finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, ; to allegations of doubling in visa racketeering against the then deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Hadzide, and the then Director General of the National Sports Authority, Hon. Robert Sarfo Mensah who, even though exonerated by the CID, later resigned; the Chairperson of the Board of the National Sports Authority, Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang ; to the allegations of bribery levelled against the Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue; to those involving the dismissed acting CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), A. B Adjei; and the dismissed CEO of the National Youth Authority, Emmanuel Asigiri – President Akufo-Addo stated that they have all been investigated and, in most cases, cleared by the authorised institutions of our state, and not by President Akufo-Addo.
“The latest episode involving the former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, is evident for all to see. I am not aware of any government in the 4th Republic subjecting so many of its officials to such investigations and inquiries,” he said.
In addition, President Akufo-Addo stated that “several others, including Dr. Stephen Opuni, the former CEO of COCOBOD, and Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader in Parliament, are standing trial.” He named a few of the former Mahama administration’s officials who had been tried and found guilty of various corruption-related offenses, including William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, and Eugene.
He claimed that none of the state’s accountability bodies, including the newly established Office of Special Prosecutor, had ever shown signs of being under any pressure from the Executive to obstruct their inquiries.
“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.