You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2020 12 29Article 1142852

Opinions of Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Did President Nana Akufo-Addo strike while the Iron was hot in his fight against official corruption?

President Akufo-Addo President Akufo-Addo

If I were to be asked the question, did President Nana Akufo-Addo avail himself of the advantages of the adage, “Strike while the Iron is Hot”, in regards of executing his promised fight against official corruption in Ghana, I may answer Yes and No. His good intentions to decapitate the beast called official corruption, could not succeed as expected, due to certain obstructions placed in his way by certain corrupt persons and institutions.

Strike while the iron is hot is explained in simple terms as “to do something immediately while there is still a good chance to do it”. When he assumed the office of the presidency, President Nana Akufo-Addo ensured that a Special Prosecutor was appointed in the person of Honourable Martin Amidu, a nationwide known personality with track record of voluntarily fighting official corruption hence nicknamed, “Citizen Vigilante”. Again, whenever any notice of an appointee, whether in his government or the past government, was brought to his attention, he did the needful by referring such cases to the institutions and persons legally mandated to deal with them for investigations, prosecutions and possible convictions to be made.

By his attitude as above, as democrat but not autocrat, he could be seen to doing the work of seriously fighting official corruption. However, the fact that his fight could not make any imprint on stopping corruption or jailing any of the publicly perceived corrupt officials of both the present and the past governments, he is believed to have failed abysmally in his much-touted promise to make official corruption the thing of the past in Ghana, only to be remembered by history.

He was disappointed and failed by the very institutions and persons he trusted to fight official corruption in Ghana. The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Ghana Judiciary, thus the legal system and the Office of the Special Prosecutor, especially, their leader Hon. Martin Amidu. The institutions were dragging their feet, either bordered on malice or lack of evidence when conducting investigations and prosecutions of suspected, reported or arraigned corrupt officials.

Look at how long it is taking the courts to have one Dr Opuni of the Ghana Cocobod prosecuted. Is it not laughable and a mockery of the Ghana legal system? Does it not go to prove how incompetent and probably corrupt the Ghana State prosecutors and the judges, thus, the legal system is?

Moreover, little did we know that Hon Martin Amidu was just outwardly a fighter against official corruption but inwardly, he was himself the worst corrupt individual in Ghana? For the fact of himself harbouring a personal ambition to become the President of Ghana on the ticket of the NDC one day, he decided not to seriously investigate any of the suspected corrupt NDC government appointees. The later developments and revelations following his disgraceful resignation from his post amid the Agyapa Royalties Limited deals brouhaha tell volumes about how diabolic Martin Amidu had been. The revelations confirm how he was only buying his time, waiting for the opportunity to go back to pursue his personal ambition. He let down not only the nation but those of us who trusted him and recommended him to the President to be offered the job, and especially, the President who trusted him with the job.

My understanding and application of corruption in this publication as in reference to Martin Amidu is as defined by Wikipedia, thus, “Corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal offence undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, to acquire illicit benefit or abuse power for one's private gain”.

Martin Amidu is not different in character from the Thane of Cawdor in William Shakespeare’s book called Macbeth. The Thane of Cawdor was finally executed for treason. He had betrayed King Duncan who trusted him so much as to confide to him many private issues. Upon learning about his death, King Duncan said, "There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face." Better explained in quote, “King Duncan is saying that he had no idea that the Thane of Cawdor would turn out to be a traitor. After all, it is impossible ("there's no art") to know what a person is thinking ("the mind's construction") simply by looking at the face, because a person can hide his true intentions and feelings”. This is exactly Martin Amidu for you. No wonder that President Nana Akufo-Addo could not succeed in his fight against official corruption.

The President knew and understood very well that “time and tide wait for no man” thus if you don't make use of a favourable opportunity, you may never get the same chance again. This was the reason why he created the Office of the Special Prosecutor but only to be let down by the Special Prosecutor himself, Martin Amidu. So, although the President has failed in his fight against official corruption, he did his part and best, only to be compelled to fail by deliberate actions of Martin Amidu, the legal system and other equally corrupt institutions vested with the power to fight official corruption.

Now that the NDC are scared of being seriously prosecuted, with dubious Martin Amidu out of the way, they have embarked on silly public agitations to have the election 2020 results overturned in their favour, although they lost it. They are simply intentionally making the situation more difficult for the investigation and prosecution of the corrupt officials among them. Who is to be blamed for this occurrence if not Martin Amidu and the obviously corrupt legal system in Ghana?

“Once bitten, twice shy”. I hope it is not only Nana Akufo-Addo but all of us, will learn a bitter lesson from recommending people for positions of responsibility in future, concluding from the deceptions visited upon us by Martin Amidu.