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Ghana must make corruption a high risk venture – Consultant

By
Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, Aug. 21, GNA – Reverend John Nkum, a
Management Consultant and Organisational Review Strategist, says Ghana must
make anti-corruption profitable by ensuring that portion of the monies
retrieved from perpetrators of 
corruption are paid to the investigating agency to resource them.

He said if the country wanted to tackle
corruption seriously then she must strictly adhere to the anti-corruption value
chain approach.

The chain includes intensifying public
education and awareness about how corruption destroyed the society, tracking
and monitoring transactions of corruption at different forms and levels.

Others are; undertaking investigation and
research to gather evidence of cases of corruption, publicising the evidence to
inform the public about those involved and follow up with advocacy to prosecute
perpetrators as well as publicise the sanctions meted out to the
offenders.  

Rev. Nkum, who is also the Executive Director
of Nkum Associates, said this at a stakeholders’ review meeting with
journalists in Accra on Monday.

The meeting was to solicit media
practitioners’ perspectives on the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition’s (GACC)
National Anti-Corruption Plan Strategy, which was implemented from 2010 to 2015
and assess the success chalked so far.

It also aimed at identifying the strengths and
weaknesses of the GACC strategy and provide recommendations for a new
anti-graft strategy, which would commence this year for the next five years.

GACC is a unique cross-sectoral grouping of
eight public, private and civil society organisations with a focus on promoting
good governance and fighting corruption in Ghana.

Some organisations constituting the GACC
include the Economic and Organised Crime Office, the Commission on Human Rights
and Administrative Justice, the Ghana Journalists Association and other civil
society organisations.

Rev. Nkum said; “As a nation we should go
beyond just publicising corruption cases but rather follow up on the
prosecution and sanctions meted out the offenders.”

In addition, he said, the media and other
anti-graft institutions should provide the public technical reasons the
prosecution team failed to convict an alleged corrupt official.

This, he said, would sharpen public
understanding of the Law and make them tolerant.

Rev. Nkum called for capacity-build of cadre
of journalists so that their reportage on anti-corruption cases would be more
professional.

Journalists and media organisations must have
access to anti-graft personalities and professionals to have insight into
anti-corruption activities and follow up on cases, he said.

He said Ghana’s Special Prosecutor’s Office
should be modelled along best international practices and must be autonomous so
that it could even prosecute the President or the Executive arm of Government
when they involve themselves in corrupt practices.

Mr Bright Sowu, a Senior Research Officer at
the GACC, said the Coalition supported some journalists to undertake
investigations and follow up on some corrupt cases that came to their notice
under a project called “Accountable Democratic Institution,” which was
implemented for three years.

He called for a holistic approach towards
fighting corruption by involving all relevant state institutions.

Some media practitioners who participated in
the meeting observed that the Coalition had done well by championing
anti-corruption in the country as well as providing information on some corrupt
cases.

They called for the National Anti-Corruption
Action Plan Document to be made available to journalists so that they could
track and monitor corrupt practices.

They asked state institutions like the
Attorney-General’s Office to put their act together so that they could
successfully prosecute corruption cases and retrieve monies embezzled by public
officials.

The media coverage on resolution of corrupt
cases was weak and the participants, therefore, called for media hype on monies
paid by offenders to the State.

The GACC has, over the years, worked on
several interventions and engaged government, private sector institutions,
civil society organisations, development partners and other key stakeholders at
the local, national, regional and global levels.

GNA

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