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General News of Sunday, 31 December 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

We won't run from accountability - Mahama unfazed by prosecution threats

Former president John Mahama says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not be cowered by threats to prosecute alleged corrupt past government officials.

He told hundreds of supporters at the 36th-Anniversary celebration of the 31st December Revolution in Ho Sunday, NDC members who will fall foul of the law will have their day in court.

But he wants the party members to stop pronouncing “our colleagues” guilty just because the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said they are.

“It is my wish that things will turn out well,” the ex-president said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has repeated his commitment to try all past government officials found to have engaged in questionable transactions during their tenure.

Touring parts of the Eastern Region last two weeks, he told Ghanaians not to see the "trial of people for various corrupt acts" as a political action.

“It is a criminal trial. We’re not using it for political purses. We’re doing it to enforce the criminal laws of our country,” he said.

Already, the immediate past Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), William Tevie and four others are standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.

The five reportedly withdrew $4million from the Authority's account to pay an Israeli company for a counter-terrorism device but ended up paying $1million and shared the rest.

There are other pending matters such as the financial mismanagement at the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and the then Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Authority (GYEEDA).

Although Mr Mahama has said the NDC is ready for the trial of its members, he has asked for fairness in the prosecution of persons found to have engaged in corrupt practices.

He noted the easiest part in the fight against corruption is to prosecute one’s opponent. This “doesn’t take courage,” he said.

The ex-president explained the “true test is holding your own people accountable when they go wrong.”

He challenged president Akufo-Addo to let the sword of justice "cut both ways" in his attempt to dredge the country of corruption.