I do not clear appointees of corruption allegations- President Akufo-Addo
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that all allegations of corruption levelled against his appointees have been investigated by independent bodies, such as CHRAJ, the CID, and, in some cases, by Parliament itself.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing, or of engaging in acts of corruption. That is the job of the courts and the law enforcement agencies.”
Speaking at the 2023 Bar Conference of the Ghana Bar Association on Monday, 11th September 2023, in Cape Coast, the President told the gathering that “my job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant enquiry and action, including, if necessary, the suspension of the affected official, pending the conclusion of investigations. That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of leadership on 7th January, 2017.”
He went on to cite a number of instances where allegations of corruption against his appointees have been investigated by independent bodies.
From the allegations against the then Minister-Designate for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, at his parliamentary confirmation hearings in 2017; to that against the former CEO of BOST, Hon. Alfred Obeng; to those against the then two deputy Chiefs of Staff at the Office of the President, Hon. Francis Asenso Boakye and Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor; to the conflict of interest allegations against the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta; to the claims of extortion against the then Trade and Industry Minister-designate, Alan Kyerematen, at his parliamentary confirmation hearings in 2017; to allegations of doubling in visa racketeering against the then deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Hadzide, and the then Director General of the National Sports Authority, Hon. Robert Sarfo Mensah who, even though exonerated by the CID, later resigned; the Chairperson of the Board of the National Sports Authority, Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang ; to the allegations of bribery levelled against the Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue; to those involving the dismissed acting CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), A. B Adjei; and the dismissed CEO of the National Youth Authority, Emmanuel Asigiri – President Akufo-Addo stated that they have all been investigated and, in most cases, cleared by the authorised institutions of our state, and not by President Akufo-Addo.
“The latest episode involving the former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, is evident for all to see. I am not aware of any government in the 4th Republic subjecting so many of its officials to such investigations and inquiries,” he said.
At the same time, President Akufo-Addo noted that several officials of the previous Mahama administration, such as William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman and Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, in the infamous $4 million NCA scandal, have been tried and convicted of various corruption-related offences, adding that “several others, including Dr. Stephen Opuni, the former CEO of COCOBOD, and Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader in Parliament, are standing trial as we speak.”
None of the accountability institutions of state, including the new Office of Special Prosecutor, he said, have ever indicated any pressure from the Executive over their investigations.
“There are some who refuse to accept my method of proceeding, and have characterised me as a ‘clearing agent’, because, for them, the mere allegation without more is enough to merit condemnation of the public official. For my part, I will not set aside due process in the fight against corruption, no matter how much opprobrium this incurs for me,” the President said.