A private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong believes an out of court settlement of the tussle between the Auditor General and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is the way forward to resolve the impasse.
Speaking on the Big Issue, he said it will be prudent for the two parties to adopt such an approach as that will be in their own interest.
He added that the powers that be such as the Attorney General and even the President should consider stepping in and appeal for an end to the turmoil.
“They should ceasefire for the court to determine this important matter. But I would have wished that the matter is withdrawn for an amicable solution because it affects national security. If indeed Mr. Domelevo’s rights have been violated, this matter can still be addressed amicably among all the stakeholders. I wish the Attorney General, in particular, will take up this matter and invite them for a meeting. The office of the President can also take it up.”
EOCO began 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, Mr. Yaw Domelevo indicated that EOCO has no legal mandate to probe him, a position he is currently seeking redress in court.
But Mr. Yaw Oppong is strongly convinced the tussle if not settled in an appropriate manner could give public officers who breach the law the confidence to continually engage in such crimes.
He further charged both parties to rise above powerplay for cool heads to prevail.
“So even with this pending matter, a declaration can go either way. The moment that happens, the seemingly bad blood between the two parties may continue. The beneficiaries will now be the alleged criminals or those who violated the procurement laws and corruption. An out of court settlement can always be done among the parties. I think that before they take any steps, that should be done to send a signal to all potential violators of the law that there is no bad blood among these persons. But they should let us see that, the corporate and coordinate. None of them can do this work without the support of the other”, he said. Gov’t has no agenda against Auditor General
Government has debunked assertions that it has orchestrated an agenda to remove the Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo from office describing such allegations are mere speculations without merit.
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.