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23.11.2019 Politics

There's No Agenda To Oust Auditor General – Hadzide

By News Desk
There's No Agenda To Oust Auditor General – Hadzide
NOV 23, 2019 POLITICS

Government has refuted assertions that it has orchestrated an agenda to remove the Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo from office.

According to the government, such allegations are mere speculations without merit.

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) started investigating the Audit Service following a petition it received from a political pressure group Alliance For Accountable Governance on allegations of procurement breaches.

In a letter written to the investigative body by the Auditor General, Domelevo indicated that EOCO has no legal mandate to probe him.

But speaking on The Big Issue, a Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide dared the public to provide any evidence of witch-hunting by the government against the Auditor General.

“With all the due respect, it is a scandalous suggestion. In worst term, it is a silly suggestion. We cannot encourage this reckless commentary on an otherwise serious suggestion. If there is any evidence, action or inaction that somebody wants to point to even suggest that, somebody’s work is even undermined -that can be put forward rather than just making an unsubstantiated, blanket and fundamental statement that there may be an agenda to remove somebody. These are serious matters and I can assure that the government has no agenda. We have no interest at all.”

CSOs back moves to stop EOCO from probing Audit Service

The local chapter of Transparency International – the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and other groups in a release, expressed the hope that the “recent turn of events will not deter the Auditor General from continuing with his work to protect the public purse”.

The CSOs say they are very much aware of how state power can be abused to harass and intimidate public officers seeking to protect the public purse and serve the public interest.

“However, as keen observers of the anti-corruption space, we are very alive to the ways in which state power can be abused to harass and intimidate public officers seeking to protect the public purse and serve the public interest. The genesis and circumstances surrounding the alleged infractions being investigated and the handling of the investigations by another law enforcement raise concern that there is an attempt to undermine the work of the Auditor-General,” they said.

CSOs backing unnecessary

But Pius Hadzide took a swipe on the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who have backed the Auditor General's decision to restrain EOCO from investigating the Audit Service.

According to him, the support of the groups is completely needless.

“For me, the involvement of the CSOs is absolutely unnecessary. It muddies the waters. The CSOs are not courts in the first place. Their subjective reading of a matter cannot be imposed on the people of Ghana. This is a matter in court, what is the point of a group coming to speak on it with speculations and creating the impression that something other than what we all know is happening without evidence. This action by the CSOs is counter-productive. They should focus on the real matters.”

---citinewsroom

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