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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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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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Registrar-General deploys Central Beneficial Ownership Register

The Register-General will be deploying a new Central Beneficial Ownership Register for all companies operating in the country.

According to Jemima Oware, this will end the lack of information about the ownership of businesses incorporated in the country which she described as creating a “dangerous and widening gap” in the country’s fight against corruption, money laundering, terrorism financing and other forms of financial crimes.

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Corruption Watch: Court registrar fingered in payment diversion

Fred Asiamah revealed there is a full documentary which will soon be aired as well as a petition to the judicial service to resolve such issues.

Corruption Watch has uncovered graft at the Ada Magistrate Court in the Greater Accra Region where some court officials are allegedly diverting and pocketing payments meant for the court.

Frederick Asiamah, a lead investigator at Corruption Watch, who has interacted with a number of victims says he found that the practice had gone on for years, especially at the court registrar’s office.

Giving the details of the investigative piece on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem Friday, Mr Asiamah said he was yet to get any feedback from the registrar, Nana Akwasi Konadu despite numerous text messages and phones calls to him.

Narrating her story on the Segment, Mamle, one of the people who has fallen victim to the ‘take-and-pocket’ scandal said a sum of GHC 7,500 she had paid was delayed for over nine months before part of it was released to the rightful owner.

Another person, Regina Sabbah, a 47-year-old trader and a resident of Bedeku in the Ada East District said since September 2018, she had been expecting to receive GHC 6,500 from the Ada District Court, an amount paid to the court by one Ebenezer Sotti.

The Ada District Court had ordered Ebenezer Sotti to refund the GHC 6,500 to Ms Sabbah while he was standing trial for reselling a piece of land he had earlier sold to her.

So, when in April 2019, court registrar Nana Kwasi Konadu told Ms Sabbah that he handled t GHC 3,300 received from Mr Sotti, Regina assumed the balance of GHC 3,200 was yet to be paid.

To Ms Sabbah’s surprise, Ebenezer Sotti told the court in September 2019 upon being re-arrested that he had made a full payment to the court registrar Nana Kwasi Konadu, last year.

Meanwhile, Mr Sotti has recounted to Corruption Watch that he was denied receipts after initial and final payments.

Lawyer Martin Kpebu, a Private Legal practitioner commenting on the issue, has urged the Judicial Service to investigate the issue to the latter.

“I know the Judicial Service will not be happy with this development and will begin to probe so the media must also conduct follow-ups on the issue,” he urged.

Rule 5 (G) of the Code of Ethics for Employees of the Judicial Service of Ghana states that “an employee of the Judicial Service shall obey all lawful instruction regarding the Judicial Service in the execution of his work.”

Therefore, disregarding lawful instructions laid down by the Service means working outside the rules and laws guiding the Service and amounts to unprofessional conduct and a breach of the code.

Fred Asiamah revealed there is a full documentary which will soon be aired as well as a petition to the Judicial Service to resolve such issues.

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Prof Stephen Asare: Agyapa Royalties deal just a gimmick to park debts off Ghana’s balance sheet

What Agyapa has been set up to do is to swap the country’s future cash flows from mineral royalties for immediate cash. It is analogous to going to the bank and taking cash now in exchange for your salary for the next x periods.

These types of transactions have several hidden costs.

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Domelevo’s absence not good for government’s anti-corruption fight – Prof Adei

The chairperson of the National Development Planning Commission says government’s move to force the Auditor-General to take his leave, does not create a good impression for its fight against corruption.

Professor Stephen Adei is worried that some institutions would feel the impact of his absence.

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World Whistleblowing Day: AFRICMIL Calls For Passage Of Whistleblower Protection Law In Nigeria

The African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has called for the passage of a whistleblower protection law in Nigeria. In a statement to mark this year’s World Whistleblowing Day, the organisation noted that Nigeria is playing catch-up with an issue other African countries like Ghana, South Africa, and Uganda have formalized.

Since the return to democracy in 1999, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to pass a law for the protection of whistleblowers in Nigeria. In December 2016, the federal government introduced a whistleblower policy, which does not provide a legal framework for the protection of whistleblowers.

Different countries around the world are realizing the importance of whistleblowers who have been described as the “first line of defence against crimecorruption and cover-up.” June 23 every year is celebrated as World Whistleblowing Day to raise public awareness about the important role of whistleblowers in combating corruption.

This year’s celebration is coming on the heels of a global pandemic (COVID-19) that has created a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty for Nigerians. It has also highlighted the importance of accountability and the need for regular and reliable information from public and private institutions and officials.

“It’s for this reason that we need Nigerians to speak up and be listened to if they have concerns about health and safety, fraud or other types of wrongdoing in the public interest in the management of the COVID-19 crisis, said Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL.

“Nigerians need to know the truth about the spread of the disease to respond effectively and help protect their communities. Transparency is vital and never more so than during a pandemic. We encourage all citizens and workers to participate in ensuring our governments, corporate institutions, both public and private, remain accountable during this crisis and beyond.”

We celebrate whistleblowers in the country for their patriotism. They keep us safe and ensure that funds are not diverted when they speak out against fraud, abuse and corruption.

In the last three years, AFRICMIL has been implementing a project tagged Corruption Anonymous , supported by the MacArthur Foundation , which aims to highlight the importance of whistleblowing in the fight against corruption and the need to protect whistle blowers from retaliation.

Source: Chido Onumah (modernghana.com)

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Discretion around declaration of assets weakens laws preventing corruption – CDD Ghana

Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development says sanctions the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has failed to create and enforce have made room for its operations to be run on discretion.

According to Dr Kojo Asante, this does not help in the fight against corruption nor the promotion of equality before the law.

“Since the propagation of the 1992 constitution, CHRAJ is yet to elaborate on sanctions. It does not promote any deterrence effect or prevention of corrupt acts or any acts that are seen as misbehavior in the public service,” Dr. Asante said on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Saturday.

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Judgement in NCA case “reasoned and solid” – Private legal practitioner Korieh Duodu


A private legal practitioner and anti-corruption expert, Korieh Duodu, has said the decision by the court in the NCA case provides the clearest indication yet of the application of laws to combat corruption.
In an interview with Corruption Watch he explained the decision also showed how state agencies could work together to ensure corruption cases are effectively investigated, prosecuted, accused persons convicted and the proceeds of the crime potentially recovered.


“Well, I think that this is a reasoned and solid judgement, delivered after a case has been investigated and prosecuted over two-and-a-half years…And I would say that this is a significant case with important ramifications in Ghana’s fight against corruption because it has a number of powerful features to it which should stand Ghana in good stead in recovering stolen funds in future.”


The full interview with Corruption Watch’s Frederick Asiamah is to be broadcast on Corruption Watch’s podcast soon.In the same podcast, Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, views the judgement as a shot in the arm for anti-corruption crusaders. “I think it’s a boost and reassurance that there is hope and that if we continue to do the right things we are likely to get the results that we are looking for.”

Source: Frederick Asiamah