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Opinions of Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Your Excellency President Akufo-Addo, would you please grant Mahama’s heart’s desire?

In recent times, His Excellency Ex-President John Dramani Mahama has been challenging President Akufo-Addo to arrest, investigate and prosecute any member of his government if there is unobjectionable evidence to suggest that they amassed wealth illegally during their time in office (See: Catch the ‘supposed’ thieves to prove your charges – Mahama dares Akufo-Addo; ghanaweb.com, 30/04/2018).

Interestingly, Ex-President Mahama is reported to have asseverated forcefully: “Instead of focusing on the job to make Ghana a better place, every day they complain that an amount of money has gone missing. If money has been lost, conduct the investigation and arrest the perpetrators. Who has the power?”

Perhaps someone ought to remind former President Mahama that more recently a competent court of jurisdiction convicted two of the numerous corruption suspects in the erstwhile NDC administration and sentenced them to six and twelve years respectively.

In fact, I share in the sentiments of the concerned Ghanaians, who maintain that the sins of the two convicts are meagre in comparison with the other scandalous corruption cases which took place in the erstwhile Mahama administration.

The unhappy former President Mahama lamented further: “This trial by newspaper affects the credibility of the government. If you hear that several sums of money have gone missing yet no one has been arrested for prosecution, then you are destroying the confidence of people in the credibility of the government. So the trial by media must stop (ghanaweb.com).”

Well, let us inform Ex-president Mahama that the current Attorney General is seriously working towards bringing the suspects to book. Take, for example, on 14th March 2018, the State filed a case of causing financial loss against the former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD and the CEO of Zeera Group of Companies and Agricult Ghana Limited, who have been accused of embezzling over GH260 million under the watch of former President Mahama.

Besides, the alleged SSNIT $72 million corruption scandal will most likely end up in the law court. And, the NCA corruption scandal is pending in the law court.

Apparently, credible sources have confided in some of us that investigations are progressing steadily in a number of bribery and corruption cases which took place in the outgone Mahama’s administration.

There is also a possibility of the double salary NDC Members of Parliament having their day in the law courts.

We should, also, take solace in the fact that President Akufo-Addo has shown seriousness and commitment by establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor with the responsibility of investigating, prosecuting and retrieving stolen monies from the corrupt public officials.

Some of us are of the firm conviction that the introduction of the Office of the Special Prosecutor is a pragmatic way of tackling the rampant bribery and corruption cases head-on.

How sweet would it be if the Special Prosecutor managed to roundup the conspiratorial plotters in the Woyome’s dubious judgement debt payment for instance?

And more so it would be a great news if the Special Prosecutor managed to claw-back all the embezzled monies in the scandalous corruption cases involving the infamous Bus Branding, SSNIT, Brazil World Cup, GYEEDA, AZONTABA, SADA, SUBAH, the purported $200million debt incurred on the faded STS housing deal, the dubious Embraer 190 Aircrafts and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces and over a US$100 million oil revenue loss between 2011 and 2013 as reported by the Public Interest& Accountability Committee.

Isn’t it somewhat refreshing that the justice system is going to descend heavily not only on goat, cassava and plantain thieves, but as well as the hard criminals who hide behind narrow political colorations?

It would appear that the political criminals have the licence to steal. And, if that was not the case, how come the offending politicians and their minions often go scot free?

How on earth can individuals commit unpardonable crimes (gargantuan sleazes and corruption) against the state and get away with their misdeeds?

Well, the crucial question discerning Ghanaians should be asking the men and women in charge is: are you really prepared to investigate, prosecute, convict and retrieve the stolen funds from the corrupt public officials?

In ending, it is our fervent hope that President Akufo-Addo will live up to expectation in our almost insurmountable fight against the existential sleazes and corruption that have slackened our development thus far.

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com