General News of Tuesday, 10 December 2013
A former Majority leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has suggested the need to amend the Criminal Offences Act in order to effectively deal with corrupt public and private officials.
“Unfortunately, our law is different from the concept. In Ghana, corruption only talks about bribery; that is what is in our law…it is also defined as a misdemeanor; petty offence… and so we must change that law, we must amend the Criminal Offences Act,” he lamented.
Contributing to a discussion on the floor of Parliament about the growing canker of corruption in Ghana to mark International Anti-Corruption Day, Mr. Bagbin called for a collective support to fight corruption.
He said: “It’s true for us all to support the noise that we are making because the noise is meant to conscientize Ghanaians, to build the capacity of each and every one of us to understand what corruption is.”
Mr. Bagbin pointed out that if the necessary amendment is not made to the law, it amounts to “an abuse of public trust.”
Another former Majority leader, Papa Owusu Ankomah also blamed the upsurge in corrupt practices on the lack of enforcement of laws in Ghana.
According to him, there exists so many laws against corruption but “typical of us as a nation, we are very weak in enforcing the laws.”
He bemoaned the situation where public officers who make the attempt to do the right thing “are maligned by those who ought to know better; even within the political elite” which in his opinion promotes corruption.
Mr. Ankomah noted that “if the system is corrupted from the very foundation, what do you expect to come out of it? So I’m urging all institutions, I’m urging the political parties to fight against this phenomenon.”
The United Nations’ (UN) International Anti-Corruption Day aims to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it. It is observed on December 9 each year.