by Justice Lee Adoboe

Justice Francis Emile Short said such a commission was important for a more effective combating of corruption in the country.

Ghana has two main bodies, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), charged with dealing with public and private sector corruption.

However, Justice Short, immediate past Chairman of CHRAJ, told Xinhua on the sides of the Annul Internal Audit Forum organized by the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) of Ghana that these institutions had both financial and legal constraints hampering their effectiveness.

He said there was more to be done as the recent exposure by ace-investigative journalist Anas Arimeyaw Anas on 34 Ghanaian judges was ample evidence that corruption permeated every facet of Ghanaian life,

“We can do a lot more. I think most of them have financial constraints. Some of them need greater powers. CHRAJ for example, I think, needs to be strengthened in terms of its powers.

“I have always advocated, for example, that we should have an independent anti-corruption commission so that we can more effectively combat corruption,” Justice Short diagnosed.

He therefore said these structural challenges could be dealt with through the establishment of an independent anti-corruption commission with the necessary powers to operate.

President John Dramani Mahama last December inaugurated the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan, and Short reiterated the need for an all-hands-on deck approach to make the plan work.

“Everybody is involved. We are all part of the problem and we should be part of the solution. Those who give bribes are just as guilty as those who receive bribes. We all have a role to play; the legislature, the judiciary, the executive; ministries, departments and agencies, MMDAs the general public, civil society; everybody has a role to play,” he stressed.

The former CHRAJ commissioner also urged the establishment of an independent prosecutor’s office.

Standing in for President Mahama at the opening of the forum, Deputy Chief of Staff Jonny Osei Kofi noted that Ghana had come of age with many changes occurring, necessitating a shift in the way of governance.

“Now, by our international calculations, using so many factors we say that we are a lower middle income country. And that has changed the dynamics of how we must manage our economy and also how we must manage our communities and how we must approach our governance,” he stated.

Since Ghana is faced with a number of governance challenges such as the adherence to laws, regulations, procedures and the enforcement of sanctions, the Deputy Chief of Staff urged the Internal auditors to adhere to their duty to constantly remind public servants of where “we fall short and guide us to correct these shortfalls.” Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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