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19 June 2016

Presidents, Veeps should not accept gifts – Prof. Adei

Professor Stephen Adei2Former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Professor Stephen Adei says Ghanaians should make it binding on heads of state and their deputies not to accept any form of gifts as same may be misconstrued as bribe by an outsider.

He said a sitting President or Vice President accepting a gift may set a bad precedence for posterity.

Speaking on the raging saga on President John Dramani Mahama’s Ford Expedition vehicle gift from Burkinabe contractor Djibril Kanazoe on TV3‘s News 360, Prof Adei said it is difficult to tell whether that was an ordinary gift or one to influence him.

“The basic thing is that a certain level of receiving gifts should be discouraged because you cannot distinguish between when it is bribery and when it is not,” he stated.

“I think that the head of state or vice president should not accept [a gift], as a rule, even if it is not [through] corrupt means because it gives precedence because other people may think otherwise.”

He was, however, concerned why the government did not make this a public discourse in 2012 until a journalist pried the matter open.

“It is now that because somebody has unearthed it, that is why. While when the president goes to open even a borehole it is in the public domain.”

Asked whether he would have accepted such an offer, the good old professor said: “I will avoid it but as to whether this particular case is as corrupt or not, unfortunately I don’t have the facts.”

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