Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak has reacted to claims by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that he has no power to clear his appointees of corruption as speculated by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some civil society groups.
The legislator says Ghanaians will continue tag the president as clearing agent if he does not desist from ’’clearing his appointees’’.
President Akufo-Addo on Monday rubbished claims he had cleared appointees accused of engaging in corrupt practices.
“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 enquiry and necessary action. That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of leadership on 7th January 2017. If an appointee is cleared of any wrongdoing, the evidence adduced and recommendations made by these agencies, after the investigations are concluded, are what clear the accused persons, not myself. None of these agencies has ever indicated any pressure from the Executive over their investigations.”
He made the remarks when he addressed the 2019 Conference of the Ghana Bar Association, in Takoradi, in the Western Region.
Addressing the Bar Conference, President Akufo-Addo stated that “it cannot be the case that people are condemned based on mere allegations. That is the law of the jungle.”
Acknowledging the “orchestrated attempts by my opponents to hang the tag of corruption on the necks of my government and myself, despite all the manifest efforts being made to deal with the phenomenon of corruption”, the President had a simple answer for them.
“It will not work. I did not come into public life to enrich myself,” he stressed.
Cataloguing the allegations of corruption levelled against his appointees, the President indicated that, every single alleged act of corruption is being or has been investigated by independent bodies, such as CHRAJ, the CID, and, in some cases, by Parliament itself.
“From the allegations against the then Minister-Designate for Energy at his parliamentary confirmation hearings; to that against the former CEO of BOST; to those against the two deputy Chiefs of Staff; to the conflict of interest allegations against the Minister for Finance; to the claims of extortion against the Trade and Industry Minister; to allegations of doubling in visa racketeering against the then deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, the then Director-General of the National Sports Authority, who, even though exonerated by the CID, later resigned, and the Chairperson of the Board of the National Sports Authority; to the allegations of bribery levelled against the Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining; to the latest involving the suspended acting CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and the dismissed CEO of the National Youth Authority – they have all been investigated or are being investigated by the authorised institutions of our state, and not by President Akufo-Addo,” he stressed.
But reacting to the position taken by the president, Dr. Apaak said the president couldn’t claim to be fighting corruption when Ghanaians keep recording scandals daily.
He wrote: ‘’Folks, please tell NADAA that until he STOPS clearing his appointees alleged to have engaged in acts of corruption, Ghanaians will and have every right to call him a clearing agent!
Tell NADAA that as long as the 1D1F (one day one fraud), 1A1S (one appointee one scandal) continues he can’t claim to be fighting corruption.
Tell NADAA that it’s easy to allege and accuse his political opponents of corruption, what shows resolve and a demonstrated commitment to fighting corruption is the ability to hold his appointees accountable, not clearing them.’’