Professor Stephen Adei , a former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has torn the immediate past National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration into shreds, and called on the Akufo-Addo-led government to probe officials of the past regime.
He pointed out that corruption in the John Mahama-led administration reached unacceptable levels, to the extent that a Supreme Court Judge described it as create, loot and share.
He is however happy that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated its commitment to investigate the NDC officials for them to account for their respective offices.
According to him, those who would be found to have been involved in corrupt practices in any form must be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land, to serve as deterrent to others.
“I think that the NDC administration which has just left office must be investigated to send a warning to the NPP administration, that when they are going, they will also be held accountable,” Prof Adei said, pointing out: “This is not a political witch-hunting.”
The former GIMPA Rector said it would be practically impossible for Ghanaians to have confidence in the system, if those officials are not made to account for how they acquired their assets.
“It is inconceivable that deputy ministers, in just four years, had three houses in East Legon and the rest,” he stressed.
Speaking at the launch of the Good Corporate Governance Initiative in Accra, which was organised by Krif Ghana, in collaboration with Action Chapel International and the United States Embassy in Ghana, Prof Adei said if the leadership of the country lacked the principle of accountability and integrity, which is the cornerstone of every nation, then things would fall apart.
While in office, officials of the NDC were accused of involving themselves in corrupt practices, which made the administration unpopular, leading to the party losing the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.
It was against this backdrop that a former President, Jerry John Rawlings, founder of the NDC, at a point described corruption in the Mahama-led administration as “endemic.”
Among other things, the NDC was accused of delivering a contract for the implementation of the National Single Window for the inspection of goods at our ports to West Blue on a sole source basis.
The party was also indicted for the GH¢3.6 million Smarttys bus branding scandal, which as well, was contracted on a sole sourcing basis.
It is also worthy to recall the $88 million Embraer Jet scandal, which was going for between $28 million to $40 million with enhanced accessories, someone in the party decided to negotiate one that was to be sold to Ghana at the flat rate of $55.26 million, and enhanced to the total cost of $88 million.
Another corrupt deal that cannot be swept under the carpet is the controversial $10 billion STX scandal, in which the Koreans claimed in open court during a dispute among its local partners that they had spent $10 million in Ghana, in what is normally called facilitation fee and related expenses, to procure the contract and set up base in Ghana.
Ghanaians cannot also forget the US$250 million of proceeds from Ghana’s US$1 billion Eurobond, borrowed at a high interest rate of 10.75%, which was secretly and illegally lodged at the United Bank of Africa (UBA) in December 2015.
What’s more, the perpetrators of the payment of GH¢52.8 million ($35million) to Alfred Woyome, as well as the perpetrators of the payment of over US$30 million to Messrs Waterville, are still walking free.
Still on the minds of Ghanaians are those who paid GH¢72 million ($36 million) to Subah for allegedly doing no work, and public officials who perpetrated payments to RLG and Asontaba in SADA’s GH¢15 million ($9 million) and GH¢36 million ($18 million) who are still at post and enjoying life.
At post are also public officials who colluded and perpetrated payments in the GYEEDA scandal of over GH¢200 million ($100 million), in which the government’s own investigation committee indicted and demanded the prosecution of officials, including ministers of state, for bribe taking, forgery of multiple bank accounts, and serial awards of contracts to so called “service providers.
Speaking on the theme: “Accelerating Ghana’s Development through Transparency and Integrity – From Talk to Action”, Prof. Adei advocated for the declaration of assets by government appointees to be made public.
He said that was necessary “so that we can know what they came in with, and what they are going out with.”
He also urged the President Akufo-Addo-led government to, as a matter of urgency, institute investigations into the activities of officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Describing the GRA as a den of corruption, Prof. Adei charged the government to look into the activities of the institution, citing an instance where some of the collectors tried extorting money from a company, and when they were exposed, they imposed a huge levy on the company.
“In other words, ‘if you don’t allow us to chop, we will destroy your business,’ and this must not be allowed,” he stated, adding that if such practices were not tackled, they had the potential of collapsing businesses.
By Richard Kofi Attenkah