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Regional News of Saturday, 17 October 2015

Source: GNA

Anti-graft campaigners launch ICT platform for reporting corruption

A consortium of anti-corruption crusaders has launched a civil society platform called ‘IPaidABribe’ to empower citizens and groups to report and document corruption in public offices through accessible and innovative Information, Communication and Technology.

The GII Consortium, comprising Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), SEND - Ghana and the Ghana Anti–Corruption Coalition, encouraged citizens to visit the ‘I paid a bribe’ platform at www.ipaidabribe.org.gh to report all demands for and payment of bribes.

Spokesperson for the Consortium, Mr Vitus Azeem, GII Executive Director, told journalists that the decision to launch a social platform for reporting the canker follows the pervasive nature of corrupt practices in ‘very high profile and sensitive’ sections of the society.

“It has become even more crucial that the nation gathers information on the nature of corruption across the country,” he said, in reference to the apparent widespread corruption reports that have overwhelmed the nation in recent times.

The consortium also alleged that following the exposé of the alleged corruption scandal in the country’s judiciary, some state institutions have begun subjecting visitors to unauthorized searches in fear of Anas Aremeyaw Anas staging there.

“The attention of the GII Consortium has been drawn to the fact that some state institutions have started searching visitors to their offices before allowing them in, for fear of some “Anases” visiting these offices,” Mr Azeem, who is also Executive Director of GII, said.

He added: “We wish to state that we are not aware of any law in this country that provides for any such searches and so it must stop immediately.

“We hope that these searches are not sanctioned by the government. We call on all Ghanaians to resist such unlawful searches and report them to the authorities.

“Clearly, the aim of these searches, which are probably sanctioned by the heads of these institutions, are aimed at hiding any corrupt acts that must be taking place inside the offices.

“This must be condemned and stopped. We further entreat public officers within these offices to emulate Anas and capture corrupt acts being perpetrated by their colleagues and senior officers.”

The Consortium has also launched the GII’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre to facilitate victims and witnesses of corruption to increasingly report the act seen mostly perpetuated by state officials.

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