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Assemblies’ Common Fund rip-off rises to GH¢124.82 million

Some officials of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies mismanaged funds and resources of their assemblies to a financial value of approximately GH¢124.82 million in 2019, the Auditor-General has revealed.

The financial irregularities for 2019 represent a 3.53% rise from the 2018 figure of approximately GH¢120.56 million. In nominal terms, the increase is approximately GH¢4.2m. 

“The findings once again showed lack of commitment on the part of the management of Assemblies in the implementation and enforcement of my audit recommendations towards mitigating infringements of the laws. I also attributed the situation to non-imposition of sanctions to minimise the violations,” says the Auditor-General in a letter transmitting his latest report to the Speaker of Parliament.

Comparative irregularities from 2015 to 2019 financial years
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Nigeria’s Protests and the Need for Bottom-Up Reform Across Africa

One of the rare times I made it through the international airport in Lagos with nary a request for a bribe, I was left feeling spooked. After all, during previous visits to Nigeria, I had had valuables seized right before my eyes under false pretenses; I had been detained in a cell awaiting ransom; and I had even once watched in alarmed disbelief as uniformed men with guns boarded my flight and extorted money from passengers, along with bottles of champagne from the crew, right there on the tarmac.

This time, as I exited the terminal, just as I was being greeted by a prearranged driver, a man in plainclothes approached to demand my passport. The driver whispered for me to ignore him and keep walking fast, after which the man in plainclothes flashed a gun under his shirt and said, “OK, you’ll see.”

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Private citizens should be allowed to prosecute corruption cases – Prempeh

Private citizens in Ghana should be permitted to prosecute corruption cases in Ghana, Professor Henry Kwesi Prempeh, the Director of the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana), has said.

He noted that this will help in the fight against corruption especially when the institutions tasked to fight corruption seem not be to be doing enough on this development.

In most advanced countries with best practices, he said, private individuals are allowed to prosecute corrupt officials.

“Why can’t I take my case to court prosecute the case myself. It happens in other country,” Professor Prempeh said during the Ghana National Forum on Political Party Manifesto, organized by Media General in partnership with Penplusbytes on Wednesday October, 14.

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Ghana’s legal system overprotects corrupt officials – Akwetey

Ghana’s legal system shields corrupt officials, a situation that is making the fight against corruption difficult, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), has said.

He noted that the legal regime at the moment gives very little room to effectively tackle the problems.

“Our legal culture overprotects  the corrupt, he said during the Ghana National Forum on Political Party Manifesto, organized by Media General in partnership with Penplusbytes on Wednesday, October 14.

He added “There is a lot of shelter the system gives them and is allowing us very little room”

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Parliament passes Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill to make corruption felony

Parliament has passed the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill 2020, categorizing the offence of corruption as a felony.

The move is to introduce stiffer punishment to deter public officers from engaging in corrupt practices

Following the amendment, subject to presidential assent, a person found guilty of engaging in any form of corrupt act could go to jail between for not less than 12 years and not more than 25 years.

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Agyapa deal: Focus on the valuation not corruption angle – Franklin Cudjoe to Special Prosecutor

President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe has suggested that the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu be more focused on the assessment of the controversial Agyapa royalties deal, instead of looking solely at the corruption aspect.

According to him, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have, on several occasions, proven the real value of the royalties, pegging it between $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion.

Taking to his Facebook page to make his submission on the topic, Franklin Cudjoe said “I sincerely hope the Special Prosecutor is focused on the valuation of AGYAPA royalties. That is the most important issue, not the ‘corruption’ angle he seems to be interested in because frankly, he could simply pass the deal should documents he claims he hasn’t had, be handed to him. He must speak to the technical matter of valuation. CSOs have demonstrated enormous technical competence to show that the real value of the royalties for the assets under consideration is between $2.5bn to $3.5bn not the proposed and contracted $1bn by the finance ministry. I am watching the SP paaaa… He can reach out”.

His comments come after the Finance Ministry announced on Monday, October 5, 2020, the suspension of the launch of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Agyapa Royalties deal.

In a letter signed by the Deputy Finance Minister, Charles Adu-Boahen and addressed to the Office of the Special Prosecutor, it noted that the decision was resultant of a pending completion of a corruption risk assessment by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

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Internal Audit Agency Swoops on MDAs

According to Mrs Juliet Aboagye-Wiafe, President of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Ghana, the work of internal auditors facilitate good corporate governance and compliance. These in turn ‘provide strong inputs for organisational or business sustainability and prevent corporate scandals, fraud and failures.’

Mrs Aboagye-Wiafe reportedly said this at the IIA’s 2019 Annual National Internal Audit and Governance Conference.

In June 2019, Auditor-General Mr. Daniel Yao Domelevo also stated that it is better to prevent corruption. Therefore, making internal auditors independent is one of the control mechanisms that government can put in place to prevent corruption. He even suggested to the Presidency to consider the inclusion of the Director General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in Government’s Economic Management Team to help control expenditure within certain strategic sectors.  He took the view that internal auditors would provide timely information on lapses within the Public Financial Management system to enable the E. M. T. take judicious measures to address identified inefficiencies.

In spite of these authorities speaking favourably on internal auditors, Corruption Watch has come across cases from its investigations in which some internal auditors have allegedly been professionally abused and harassed for refusing to be compromised.

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Bribery by foreign companies threatening poverty reduction efforts – World Bank

If unchecked, corruption poses a threat to reducing poverty and supporting shared prosperity, the World Bank has said in a paper titled ‘Working in partnership is key to fighting corruption’ released on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

The Bretton Woods institution said corruption has long been recognized as a major impediment to development.

From massive theft of state assets to the low-level corruption that erodes productivity and weakens service delivery, corruption steals from the poor and erodes progress, it said.

“Corruption takes many forms. It is the foreign company that pays kickbacks or bribes to get preferential treatment, leaving poor countries with devalued goods or services.

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Mike Ohene-Effah: The Missing Manifesto

All the major political parties have launched their manifestoes for the December general elections.

This is highly commendable as it largely makes the campaigns issues-based…hopefully.

A manifesto is a declaration of aims and policy. It asks the question, “What do you believe?” It is supposed to be a party’s central policy document, and the political parties must be commended for making good progress on this since 1992, though we are increasingly seeing a shift to a litany of promises, projects and programmes in party manifestoes.

To begin with, various academics and governance experts in Ghana have raised issues with what the focus, content and size of political party manifestoes should be.

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Education on corruption has been underestimated in the country – Kofi Abotsi

The Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Kofi Abotsi has called for education on corruption to be intensified in the country.

He says the country has not been able to effectively deal with corruption because education on the vice is downplayed in the country.

“I think that the depth of civic education, particularly in our schools over the years has been problematic and that’s something we will want to look at and intensify so that people group with that mindset of the civic spirit,” he said.

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