14th July 2024

Attorney General Dame at the event

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Dame Yeboah, has called upon investigative bodies in Africa, particularly Ghana, to publicly disclose the results of corruption allegations, especially those involving senior government officials, when investigations refute or fail to substantiate the claims.
He made the call during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-corruption Agencies in Africa. It was under the theme “Strengthening Institutions in Promoting Transparency: A means of fighting Corruption in Commonwealth Africa.”
The A-G stressed that doing this with utmost transparency and accountability will help in the fight against corruption, noting that there must be avoidance of sensationalism by all involved – investigative bodies, civil society, and the public.

“Thus, investigative bodies must be honest and bold enough to disclose to the public the full results of investigations into allegations of corruption against members of government which turn out to be untrue,” the A-G stated.

Public confidence
He noted that it is one sure way to boost the confidence of the public in their government, reduce the suspicions, distrust and cynicism with which the public views office holders, and boost the corruption perception index of respective countries.

He stated that, after all, it is a truism that not every public office holder is corrupt. He urged investigative authorities to discard the view that the only way to remain relevant is by keeping the flame of allegations of corruptions against public office holders burning.
The A-G stressed the importance of international collaboration as a cornerstone of Africa’s collective efforts in combating corruption. He added that the continent’s survival as a global community depends on the continuous trust reposed in anti-corruption institutions.
He indicated that the development of economies and the global financial system were at risk from exploiters of weaknesses in the system to perpetrate financially motivated crime. However, he said through a coordinated effort, based on mutual cooperation between criminal justice partners and the private sector worldwide, it can conquer wrongdoers and opportunists.

Collective efforts
He noted that criminals adeptly exploit differences between countries to advance their agendas, enrich their organizations, and evade justice. Consequently, he emphasised the urgent need for states to collaborate in confronting the menace of economic crimes.
“The need for states to cooperate in combating the threat of economic crimes is, therefore, more than imperative. When those who have been entrusted with authority to ensure that right procedures are followed derelict on same, the trust and confidence of the people are abused,” he indicated.
He stressed the need to punish corruption and other forms of economic crimes through a fair, honest and efficient justice system. “As I have said before, the efficiency of a nation’s justice system is tested, particularly, by the speed and efficiency with which cases seeking to hold high-profile members of society to account, as well as top financial crimes, are conducted,” he noted.

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Fighting corruption
The A-G emphasised the pivotal role of transparency in combating corruption, labeling it as the cornerstone of integrity and the eradication of corrupt practices. He highlighted the significance of access to information as a crucial tool in combating such illicit activities.
That is why, he indicated, to bolster transparency and accountability in public affairs, the government, under President Nana Akufo-Addo, championed the passage of the Right to Information Act 2019 (Act 989) in 2019.
This legislation, he explained, aims to uphold citizens’ constitutional right to access information held by public institutions, subject to specific exemptions necessary for protecting the public interest in a democratic setting.
He noted the increasing utilization of the Right to Information Act by Ghanaian citizens since its enactment, signaling a significant step forward in promoting transparency and holding public institutions and officials accountable for their actions. According to him, the government’s commitment to transparency has shed light on the operations of public institutions, ultimately fostering a culture of accountability.
He also mentioned that the government had strengthened the whistleblower regime by amending the Whistleblower Act, 2006 (Act 720) in 2023. “This amendment introduces a reward system for whistleblowers, with a significant portion of revenue from cases initiated based on whistleblowers’ information allocated to a fund. Additionally, whistleblowers receive a direct share of the income generated from their efforts, incentivizing individuals to report corrupt activities,” he added.
He reaffirmed government’s unwavering commitment to combating corruption through transparency, accountability and effective anti-corruption measures.

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