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General News of Thursday, 12 March 2020

Source: GNA

Delay in justice delivery affecting corruption fight - GII


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Undue delay in the dispensation of justice to people involved in corrupt activities is affecting efforts in the fight against corruption and discouraging people from reporting such cases.

Mr Joseph Makido Azam, the Northern Regional Officer of Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), said the litigation process of the court system in the country did not allow cases especially corruption-related ones to be resolved in a short time, thus making anti-corruption campaigners and the citizenry to lose trust in the mandated institutions to fight the canker.

He therefore appealed to the judiciary system to initiate measures that would ensure that issues relating to bribery and corruption brought before the courts were speedily dealt with to avoid suspicion.

He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of an anti-corruption programme at Tongo in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.

The programme was organised by GII in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with funding support from the Global Affairs, Canada.

Mr Azam suggested that punishment meted out to culprits of corruption be deterrent enough to discourage others from engaging in similar acts.

He said corruption had robbed the country of progress and development at the expense of the vulnerable persons and added that statistics showed that Ghana loses GH¢3billion annually to corruption.

He said though various stakeholders and institutions had played a big part in the fight against corruption, the performance of the country in terms of the canker was still not good enough as the country always scored below the average mark.

“According to the corruption perception survey report that we released every year, for 2019, Ghana recorded 40 per cent, the same mark as 2018 and 40 per cent in 2017 while our best score was 48 per cent in 2014, which is not good at all.”

Mr Azam urged Ghanaians to inculcate the culture of integrity as a weapon to fight the canker and encouraged members of the pubic to garner confidence and report corrupt activities to mandated institutions for action to be taken.

Mrs Dorcas Atia, the District Director, NCCE, indicated that the fight against corruption was a collective responsibility and therefore the programme was intended to empower the citizens especially at the local level to contribute to its ending.

Mrs Atia indicated that corruption had corroded the society, undermined human rights and retarded economic growth and development of the country and therefore it was imperative to intensify campaign against it and empower the citizens to join the fight.

Mr Abdulai Jaladeen, the Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), who took the participants through the Whistle Blower’s Act of 2006, Act 720, asked the citizens to use the act to fight corruption.

He mentioned institutions such as CHRAJ, Attorney General, Office of the Special Prosecutor, the police, Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), traditional authorities, the assembly members among others that corruption and corruption related complaints could be reported to.

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