A former Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Vituz Azeem has rubbished President Akufo Addo’s claims that it is not his duty to clear or convict officials accused of corruption.
The President made the comment at the Ghana Bar Conference in Takoradi that he had never independently declared any official innocent in instances where they were alleged to be involved in corrupt deals.
“It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing or of engaging in acts of corruption. My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring to the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant inquiry and necessary action. That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of leadership on 7th January, 2017,” the President had said.
However, Mr. Azeem on Eyewitness News argued that Nana Akufo-Addo’s role as President requires him to act on cases of corruption by taking the responsibility to clear or convict persons implicated in corruption scandals.
“It is his job [to clear or convict], he has referred the matters for investigations so he is expected to act on it. If he did not intend to act on them he should not have caused an investigation to take place. It is not just a matter of saying go and investigate.”
Release the report
He however urged the President to release reports of investigated alleged corruption cases instead of exonerating his appointees accused of same.
“If you refer a case to someone to investigate, you are the only one that is allowed to release the report so even those so-called independent bodies cannot release the reports. They only submit it to the President who asked them to do the investigation and so we expect to see more details in the report rather than just coming to say they have been cleared.”
This is not the first Mr. Azeem has taken on the government over the issue of corruption.
‘Nana Addo has failed in corruption fight’
Mr. Azeem recently slammed Akufo-Addo over what he said was the President’s gross failure to tackle corruption.
He indicated that the Akufo Addo government tops the list as the administration with the most cases of corruption.
“People voted because the President had promised that he was going to tackle corruption head on, so he raised our expectation. So, in my observation, he has failed because he may be personally incorruptible but he appoints people who do things wrongly but he has not done anything about it. So, he cannot be exonerated from blame. I think he has failed,“ he declared.