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Group petitions Parliament, three anti-corruption agencies to investigate GCB Board

The Good Governance Advocacy Group, Ghana (GGAGG), has petitioned Parliament and three state anti-corruption agencies to investigate the conduct of the GCB Bank Ghana Limited Board for alleged maladministration.

The three state anti-corruption institutions are the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), and the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Mr Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku, the Executive Director, GGAGG, who made the disclosure on Tuesday at a press conference in Accra, said the people of Ghana had at least 73.14 per cent shares in GCB Bank, hence, the need for them to know about happened within the Bank.

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Claims we spent GHS1.7 billion on COVID-19 inaccurate – Government

This follows publications by some local media houses as well as a post by Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu, John Jinapor, that per the 2021 budget statement, only GHS1.7 billion of the allocated GHS19 billion for issues of COVID-19 in 2020 was utilized.

Media reports also suggested that the rest of the money was used for expenditures unrelated to COVID-19.

But speaking at a Press Conference, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, clarified that the amount quoted by the media was for just two items under the COVID-19 related expenditures.

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Special Prosecutor resignation furore at a glance

This country set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) with the hope that it can deal with grand corruption of politically exposed persons; and, for a long time we waited for the OSP to bite. Therefore, it was refreshing when Mr Amidu released the report of an analysis of the risk of corruption in the Agyapa Minerals Royalties transaction. 

It was instructive because it was the first time that an independent anti-corruption agency established by any government in Ghana had undertaken an analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption risk assessment of the processes leading up to the approval by parliament of public agreements as part of its statutory mandate.

Alas! The celebration lasted for only two weeks. On Monday, 16th November 2020, Mr Martin A.B.K. Amidu resigned from his post as Special Prosecutor. On Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo, through Chief of Staff Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, wrote back to Mr Amidu to accept his resignation. 

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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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The Better Corruption Solution: Examining anti-corruption measures in 2020 NDC & NPP Manifestos

In December 2018, the civil society fraternity under the auspices of Corruption Watch raised concerns about “the creeping normalization of corruption among the populace” pointing out that it poses a threat to development. The civil society actors pointed to several indices to drum home the point that Ghana has stagnated in its fight against corruption for the last decade or so.

For purposes of this discussion and in order to balance the scale for the NPP and NDC, we can examine indices for the eight-year period 2013-2020.

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Adwoa Safo gives NPP Delegates 3,000 cash; Insurance Policy Worth 10,000Ghs

A Corruption Watch investigation has found that Procurement Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo, allegedly gave GHc3,000 and a GLICO Life Insurance package worth GHc10,000 to delegates in the just ended NPP primaries.

 Her challenger, Michael Aaron Oquaye Jr., Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, on the other hand, allegedly gave GHc3,000, a 32-inch Nasco flat screen television set and an Indian-made cloth to the 500 delegates. The candidates targeted 500 delegates which they needed to win. 

Last dinner to election @ residence of Mike Oquaye Jr

Meanwhile a Corruption Watch follow up check on the GLICO insurance cover found that the cover took effect three days to the election, June 17, 2020 and will expire on June 16, 2021. The “Insurance Interest” was for the benefit of “Delegates of the Dome Kwabenya Constituency

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Corruption to be made a felony in Ghana; stiffer punishment for culprits

Government has initiated processes in Parliament towards making corruption a more unrewarding venture.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Gloria Akuffo has in this regard presented to Parliament the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

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Expand electoral colleges to reduce vote-buying – CDD-Ghana urges political parties

Senior Programmes Officer at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Paul Kwabena Aborampah says for Ghana to mitigate the phenomenon of vote-buying in the various electoral process, certain drastic measures would have to be taken including expanding the various electoral colleges.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said the move would make it extremely difficult for aspirants to pay their way through the electoral process.

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iWatch Africa Proposes “Police-Citizen” To Replace PIPS Of Ghana Police

iWatch Africa, a not-for-profit organisation, is calling for an overhaul of the current police oversight approach by the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Unit (PIPS) of the Ghana Police Service to address misconduct of police officers.

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