At least 21 appointees of the former administration under John Dramani Mahama, are being prosecuted for corruption-related offences, the President has revealed.
These prosecutions, according to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, may have delayed partly because of his respect for due process. Another reason, the president said, is deliberate efforts by the persons being prosecuted to delay the process.
Nana Akufo-Addo made the revelations in Canada Sunday, June 2, when he met with members of the Ghanaian community living in that country.
He was explaining why his administration has not been able to successfully prosecute any appointees of his predecessor charged for graft.
“The Attorney-General in the meantime has not been idle [even though] people are saying there are no prosecutions. Twenty-one (21) people are on trial in Ghana today for corruption…” he said.
However, the president stated that: “One of the things that I am not prepared to do is to do away with due process.”
“I fought for it all my life in Ghana, that we would have a state which recognises and accepts and acknowledges due process as a fundamental instrument of state policy,” he said to cheers from the audience.
Nana Akufo-Addo entreated those who accuse his government of failing to jail corrupt former government officials to allow the judicial process to run its course.
“So if you put somebody before court and the person is making application after applications whether to delay the process or whether the applications are genuine, you’ll have to recognise their right to do it and it is when those are exhausted that the trials can begin.
“Some of the trials have started. Those that have started, efforts were made to stymie them by going to the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court dismisses those efforts and the process gets going…,” he explained.
Commenting on the stewardship of the Special Prosecutor, President Akufo-Addo said he has unwavering confidence in Mr. Martin Amidu and trusts that he will deliver.
He, therefore, asked Ghanaians to allow the Special Prosecutor time to settle so he can begin his work.
“The person I chose is a very responsible Ghanaian, I’ve no doubt about his determination in this matter,” he guaranteed.
He conceded that the government may have overlooked – in the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor – the need for public sector regulations to be adhered to.
Nonetheless, the president said all the challenges are being addressed and soon, “we will hear from him when he is ready.”