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General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2003


Editorial: Apraku Must save Himself & Party

THE STATESMAN in an editorial quotes Sir Ivor Jennings, the eminent constitutional expert saying that “the most elementary qualification demanded of a Minister is honesty and incorruptibility.

It is however, necessary not only that he should posses this qualification but also that he should appear to posses it.”

When Mallam Issa’s scandal broke; he was impressed upon by the Presidency to resign and later imprisoned.

Alhaji Malik Yakubui and Lt. General Hamidu resignation also breathed some resurrective air into that elusive culture of responsible resignation.

Since then there have been a few borderline cases, where one would have expected at least a voluntary intention to resign expressed to the Presidency, the paper noted.

A case in point, which under any established democracy would have led to a resignation letter, is the scandal emanating from the SFO report on Dr. Kofi Akonadu Apraku, about the time he was Minister of Trade and Industry, on alleged abuse of funds by his appointees at the Ghana Free Zones Board.

The charge that GFZB funds were diverted into furnishing a private office at Dzorwulu, Accra, coupled with Dr. Apraku’s alleged statement to the SFO that “he admits knowledge and his use of the office as his constituency office” appear to make his position as Minister of a” Zero tolerance for corruption” Government highly untenable.

Should Ministers whose position have been seriously compromised wait for the invocation of Article 82 of the Constitution and be forced to resign or sacked by the President, based on a Parliamentary vote of censure, “Statesman” thinks not necessarily, but where it is required Parliament should not shy away from it.

Dr. Apraku’s case appears to be what Prof. S.E. Finer describes as “ a personal misadventure, which raises such doubt about his personal prudence or integrity as to cause him to resign.”