I have been more than shocked hearing President Nana Akufo Addo made the claim that amongst all of Ghana’s Presidents, he has made the boldest efforts in terms of corruption fight and fought it the hardest.
I was shocked because that claim is a palpable untruth and unsurprising many Ghanaians have started confronting him on same.
I recalled CDD’s Prof. Gyimah-Boadi in an interview on Citi FM the day President Akufo Addo clandestinely removed Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo from office.
“As for President Akufo Addo’s credibility in terms of anti-corruption, I am afraid to say it is in tatters. It has been in tatters for a while but this (Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo’s) removal from office puts a nail in the coffin. I see Domelevo as a victim of well-orchestrated actions by individuals who are [government] officials and by state institutions,” he said.
The very day President Akufo Addo made that absolutely false claim at the “International Anti-Corruption & Human Right Week” celebration, a listener to “Eye Witness News” on Citi FM sent a text message which reads; “it appears President Akufo Addo is fighting the corruption in a different Ghana”.
It was the most perfect response for me at that time to Nana Akufo Addo as I listened to the ensuing discussions aboard a vehicle from Koforidua to Accra.
But to have President Akufo Addo who deep down his heart knows the reality; that corruption is worse in his regime but pretending and stating something to the contrary, is by itself a case of corruption.
What President Akufo Addo did, it is a massive psychological strategy or ploy; to merely continue talking as though something about the subject matter (fighting corruption) is truly happening on the ground to hoodwink the people. This is based on the notion that majority of Ghanaians are mostly tempted to believe what they consistently hear.
Two other Appointees, aside President Akufo Addo who employed same strategy to normalize (diffuse) corruption perception around them were Pius Hadzide and Charles Bissue who in between the times of their scandals were consistently made to appear on Radio/TV, defending the Akufo Addo government.
The investigative report on the Australia Visa scandal on Deputy Minister, Pius Hadzide’s and the Presidential staffer, Charles Bissue galamsey bribe matter vis avis how President Akufo Addo handled these 2 critical matters and others lend credence to the ploy.
Whereas President Akufo Addo refused to make public the Visa scandal investigation report he commissioned, his government frustrated the effort of the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu who was keen on investigating and prosecuting Charles Bissue.
It is the reason why the corruption related cases of Pius Hadzide and Charles Bissue are hardly seen as topical issues today.
But how really did President Akufo Addo fight corruption?? Here, I encourage all of us to read the Ghana Olympic Committee/Commonwealth Games Association (GOC)/(CGA) President, Ben Nunoo Mensah’s report on the Visa scandal at the time the news broke in Australia.
GOC/CGA President, Ben Nunoo Mensah was emphatic that 2 National Sports Authority (NSA) staff; Christy Ashley and Hussein Addy who acted as Data Entry clerks for the Commonwealth games admitted to inserting illegal names into the list of participating teams.
For instance, the report says Hussein Addy admitted to having been instructed by the International Games Committee (IGC) Chair, Pius Hadzide to illegally insert 12 names as guests of the games, whereas Christy Ashley also admitted that NSA Director General, Robert Sarfo Mensah and NSA Board Chair, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang respectively instructed her to insert 4 and 5 illegal names into the list.
What is however, very interesting is that when you check the investigation report the Police National Headquarters CID issued on the matter, prime suspects – Christy Ashley and Hussein Paddy didn’t feature in it.
GOC/CGA President’s report is all enough for any serious leader to rely on to deal with the perpetrators of the crime and the shame the Visa scandal brought to Ghana.
Under Nana Akufo Addo, Ghana’s arguably most determined Auditor General (AG), Daniel Domelevo was sacked from office purely because as corrupt as the Akufo Addo government is, it felt uncomfortable with the work of the Auditor General (AG) who was only executing the constitutional mandate of the office.
AG Daniel Domelevo’s deliberate persecution started with the appointment of one of Ghana’s backward former Auditor General, Edward Dua Agyemang as Board Chair of the Ghana Audit Service whose job ostensibly was all to frustrate Daniel Domelevo as he (Domelevo) hardly knew peace working as Auditor General.
The last straw to break the camel’s back perhaps was Daniel Domelevo’s indication to do a forensic audit of the Akufo Addo government’s reckless COVID-19 related expenditures which occasioned a clandestine move to force Mr Domelevo to proceed on a supposed 123 days accumulated leave which was later extended to 167 days.
On his return from leave, on March 2, 2021, it appeared other devilish plots were well hatched; the next day, March 3, President Akufo Addo forced Daniel Domelevo into an early retirement.
Whereas Daniel Domelevo was forcibly retired at age 59, a year ahead of his retiring age, his Board Chair, Edward Dua Agyemang is still at post at age 84years.
We are also witnesses to how Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu had to resign his position, accusing President Akufo Addo of breathing down his neck, particularly on the Agyapa scandal for which Mr Amidu tagged Nana Akufo Addo “the Mother Serpent of corruption”.
This was on the back of the fact that, one fine Sunday whilst Ghanaians pwere in church Worshiping their Maker, President Akufo Addo had invited Martin Amidu to the Jubilee House and was seeking to order him to do a bidding of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Attah which Mr Amidu rejected.
Ken Ofori Attah himself had sometime earlier at dawn visited Mr Amidu’s home on same but albeit unsuccessful.
At the height of the Agyapa controversy, Martin Amidu told Ghanaians to ask Ken Ofori Attah what he came to do in his (Martin’s) house at such ungodly hour at 5am?
It was the Akufo Addo manipulative attempt which Martin Amidu could not stand that made him to resign.
Again, Daniel Domelevo and Martin Amidu are highly rated for Anti- corruption and President Akufo Addo’s conduct towards them gave him away on his true commitment to Anti-corruption.
Lest we forget that in 2019, Foreign Diplomats also could no longer remain mute on corruption matters in the country, forcing the Ambassadors of Netherlands, Norway, France, Czech Republic to challenge the government to confront corruption as it was sinking the image of the country.
The Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Ron Strikker for instant was blunt, advocating for a “Ghana Beyond Corruption” just as “Ghana Beyond Aid” because corruption is scaring away potential investors from their respective countries away and that lends credence to NPP’s Ken Agyapong’s Oman FM outburst that investors in Ghana seeking to meet President Akufo Addo are each charged $20,000 at the Jubilee House before being made to meet with the President, an act which he says will collapse the Akufo Addo government.
The appointment of ABA Agyei as Public Procurement Authority (PPA) CEO and the “contracts for sale” scandal he himself and his companies were mired in, for me is the height of the corruption matters under Nana Akufo Addo.
I have no doubt only Prez Akufo Addo knew why he brought him to PPA because no serious leader interested in fighting corruption will appoint ABA Agyei to man PPA as his previous records on procurement at Ghana Water Company was more than scandalous and was with severe consequences.
While at that, I have a question which has been lingering on my mind; how is it that a President who claimed he has protected the public purse is under whose watch the public purse leaked the most??
According to the Auditor General’s report, Financial irregularities between 2017 – 2020 amounted to Gh33 billion, averaging Gh8.3 billion per year, an average which is even higher than all the Financial irregularities averages of previous years.
How have you protected the public purse when Ghana’s 2020 fiscal deficit is unprecedented 15.7%, which is over 300% higher than the 5% threshold for which reason this Intensive Care Unit (ICU) confined economy needs a revival, explaining why government is bent on imposing an unfair, regressive, draconian E – Levy on the people, caring little or not about its consequential effects on the overall economy.
In 2019 alone, Prez Akufo Addo spent Gh62 million in only 9 months on Presidential travels that hardly brought any benefit to the people, also in less than 4 months in 2021, he spent Gh25 million on luxurious private jets in what has become known as “Serwaa Broni” travel and tours.
In the 4th Republic, President Akufo Addo’s presidential vehicles are the most expensive to be used by any President. $250,000 Lexus – LX570 (4×4), $200,000 Maybach and $14,000 per hour private jet charter. How are these extreme cases of opulence and profligacy protection of our meagre public purse?
The saddest part is that upon all the claims of his personal or private life riches, he could not buy any of those top end vehicles for himself, or charter a $14,000 per hour private jet at the time but inconsiderately doing so now at the expense of the real needs of the suffering people.
How is it also that, the one who claimed to have fought corruption the hardest, is yet to prosecute a single one of all his stinkingly corrupt Appointees? Mere words as Prez Akufo Addo is using doesn’t fight corruption.
Dear reader, I do not intend bothering you with with what GYEEDA CEO Hon Abuga Pele, NIA CEO, Silvester Mensah, former Deputy Minister, Vicky Hammah etc have had to suffer in the hands of the government H.E. John Mahama leads when they had to face varied cases of prosecution, BNI investigations, dismissal for merely fantasizing to make $1million in politics. It was more than a nightmare and particularly that of Hon Abuga Pele, as painful as it was.
According to H.E. John Mahama,” the easiest thing any government can do is to prosecute the Appointees of his opponents. However, the mark of a true leader is having the courage to prosecute your own”.
That’s a simple test which Prez Akufo Addo had woefully failed and will continue to fail because he is never a man of his words on his corrupt and failing Appointees.
I have said that it is after President Akufo Addo’s exit from office that we will know his true worth and how he is loved by the people, regardless of the fact that he already holds a title as Ghana’s worse President.
Even the terribly performing Somalia currency (shilling) may someday appear to be in a competition over value with him.
Koku Mawuli Nanegbe
(The writer is News Editor, The Catalyst Newspaper and an Advocate at SDDDF-Africa)