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General News of Saturday, 21 December 2019


Ghana’s law an ‘enabler of corruption’ – Nana Oppong

Nana Oppong,  President of the Distinguished Scholars of Africa Nana Oppong, President of the Distinguished Scholars of Africa

Private legal practitioner and President of the Distinguished Scholars of Africa, DISTINSA, Nana Oppong, has bemoaned the alarming rate of corruption in Ghana.

Dr. Oppong lamented that corruption has eaten into the moral fibre of the Ghanaian society and it is no longer frowned upon.

“The modern law is an enabler of corruption. The corruption-enabling aspects of the law are fundamental to the legal system and they cannot be removed by amendments or by reforms.

“The biggest weakness of the law is that the legitimacy of any ruling, decision or judgment does not happen because it is obvious or truthful. Rather, legal legitimacy is found on the authority of the person saying or dong it. Authority is legality,” he stressed.

Dr. Oppong said it is unfortunate that corruption has now become a norm in Ghana, as society committers are always seen as achievers.

He said these at the Prestigious Annual lecture Series organized by the Distinguished Scholars of Africa (DISTINSA) in collaboration with the Anti-Corruption Institute (ACI) in Accra on Friday.

The public lecture was held under the theme, “Because The Law Is Corruptible, Citizens Empowerment is the Answer to Bribery and Corruption”.

Nana Oppong adds that the main objective of DISTINSA is to strip corruption of its socially accepted status and aspirational appeal by getting Ghanaians to see it in the same light as other form of crimes.

“The problem of corruption in Ghana is not a matter of character. It is a systemic problem. The system is corruptible and corrupting.

“It offers plenty of opportunities for self-enrichment and for self-empowerment. The law creates opportunities for corruption and it offers the procedures and justification that make corrupt actions legal and unimpeachable,” the astute legal practitioner emphasized.

According to him, fighting corruption is a sure way of boosting public trust, but successive governments have failed to take steps to address the menace.

Nana Oppong affirmed that in order to promote integrity and defeat corruption, the citizenry must work together and hold those responsible of getting rid of the canker accountable at all times.

Against this backdrop, the president of DISTINSA called for the establishment of what he termed as Citizen Council by government to help in the anti-graft agenda.

He said the creation of such a unique body would empower citizens, irrespective of the person’s social, tribal or financial background to challenge government’s policies in the court of law without having to go through the difficulty of paying legal fees.

“It is my humble suggestion that the legal Citizens Council which would be backed by law will have a budget for such purposes. I mean any citizen who feels that the action of a government agency or appointee could affect the general interest of the state could go to court without necessarily incurring any legal fees or paying a lawyer to do so on his or her behalf.

“The organization shall have offices across the length and breadth of the country,” Nana Oppong added.

Dr Oppong said it is imperative for Ghanaians, particularly the youth to recognize that the only way to fight against corruption is to hold people in authority accountable at all times.

Distinguished Scholars of Africa (DISTINSA) is a non-profit super elite organization whose prime objective among other things is to lead, educate and assist Africans and African leaders towards sustainable and healthy development in freedom and dignity.

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