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General News of Monday, 1 January 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

We’ll have our day in court - Mahama reacts to Akufo-Addo's threat of prosecution

Former President John Dramani Mahama has reacted to threats from his successor, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to prosecute alleged corrupt appointees of his erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) led government, stating that, they were prepared to render account of their stewardship.

Mr. Mahama noted that, members of his administration were not scared of accountability, which was a cardinal principle on which the NDC was found and as such were ready to have their day in court.

President Akufo-Addo during a recent working tour of the Eastern region reiterated his resolve to prosecute past government functionaries found to have misappropriated public funds through questionable transactions and assured that, most of such individuals would be arraign before court in 2018.

However, speaking at the 36th Commemoration of the 31st December Revolution at the Capt. Nfojoh’s park in the Volta Regional capital, Ho last Sunday, the former President admonished party faithful not fall for the NPP government’s tagging of ex-appointees as ‘corrupt’, since an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court.

He also entreated party supporters to solidarize with individuals who might fall victims, stating that, “we must make sure they have the best legal representation to be able to put their case in order. However, it is my wish that things will turn out well for them.”

The former president nonetheless, called for fairness in the prosecution of persons found to have engaged in corrupt acts and challenged the President to ensure the sword of justice ‘cut both ways.’

Mr. Mahama stated that, ‘The easiest part in the fight against corruption is to prosecute one’s opponent and that doesn’t change anything. The truest test in the fight against corruption is holding your own people accountable when they go wrong. We must not just pursue post regime accountability; we must pursue accountability when your regime exists.”

The General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. John Asiedu Nketia lauded President Akufo-Addo for introducing the Special Prosecutor Office bill, which had been passed by parliament but dared him to as a matter of urgency sign the Act into Law, so that the Special Prosecutor can begin the prosecution of corruption cases, which he said were rife within the NPP government.

“We in the NDC are ready to dance in the same glass bowl with as the New Patriotic Party and their appointees. As long as we can be sure that the justice-seeking means are blind to party affiliations, we’re ready to stand by the NPP to prosecute corrupt public officials. So we thought by now the president would have signed the Act and also appoints the Special Prosecutor,” he stated.

The 36th commemoration of the 31st December revolution ceremony in Ho, brought together rank and file of the NDC, cadres of the revolution, past government functionaries and party stalwarts, with the party founder Ex. President J.J Rawlings delivering the keynote address on the theme ‘Uniting around the Principles of Probity, Accountability and Social Justice.’