Bartidam losing enthusiasm in corruption fight- Yankah

The habit of anti-corruption crusaders losing their enthusiasm for fighting the canker when appointed into government has attained legendary status, Prof Kwasi Yankah has stated.

Singling out the current Presidential Advisor on Corruption, Daniel Bartidam and the NPP’s Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, the president of the Central University College expressed worry that anti-corruption campaigners are always resolute in the fight against corruption until they are appointed into government when the zeal deserts them.

Referring to an interview Bartidam granted Joy FM in which he stated that president John Mahama was not a judge to fight corruption, Prof Yankah said such “lame excuses” cannot be accepted from a man who was once the lead campaigner against corruption in Ghana.

He wondered what the terms of reference was for Bartidam before he was appointed.

Prof Yankah was speaking at the IEA corruption conference under theme: “Purging the nation of corruption-Demanding accountability from Public Institutions,” Tuesday.

The educationist questioned the commitment of past and present government to fight corruption, insisting the canker has become even more tolerable in Ghana.

He said the practice where governments leave corruption investigation reports on shelves to gather dust can only worsen the situation.

Citing the stinking corruption revelations in the Maputo report- revelations which were not prosecuted- Prof Yankah said that sowed the seeds for the botched corruption infested Brazil 2014 World Cup fiasco.

He said if the culprits in the Maputo scandal were punished, it would have served as a deterrent to others who were implicated in the Brazil scandal.

There would have been no platform in the name of live telecast commissions of enquiry for public officials to come and shed crocodile tears, he indicated.

Prof Yankah was convinced international tournaments have become vehicles for corruption, stating that the prayers of the poor Ghanaian taxpayer were answered when Gabon beat Ghana to host the 2017 Nations Cup.

He said the wild jubilation by many Ghanaians is indicative of a prayer well answered.

Former Commissioner of CHRAJ Justice Emile Short reiterated the point that the mandate of CHRAJ is too broad and must be relooked at.

He called for the setting up of an independent anti-corruption commission which would have powers of arrest and prosecution to deal effectively with corruption.

He said with the status-quo remaining, CHRAJ can only make recommendations to the Attorney-General for prosecution but added that, that has proven largely ineffective.

He cited a situation where as CHRAJ boss, he made recommendations for the prosecution of a public official but the A-G at the time failed to do so only for that public official to be named as a minister.

He said he went to make a complaint to the then president who quietly removed the official.

He said the cost of setting up an independent commission will be far less than the cost of corruption in the country.

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