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Akufo-Addo's lawyer, Akoto Ampaw joins protest against Auditor-General

Lawyer Akoto Ampaw is a member of the Citizens Coalition

Mon, 5 Sep 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Lead counsel for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2020 presidential election petition, Lawyer Akoto Ampaw on Monday joined a public protest against the Office of the Auditor General.

Lawyer Akoto Ampaw joined the protest as a member of the Citizens Coalition to register their displeasure with the Auditor General's refusal to disallow and surcharge for the various financial irregularities uncovered in its reports since 2019.

"The protest is in respect of a matter which is of very major national importance. That is to ensure that those who misuse public funds are made accountable and the Auditor General as we know under the constitution has the duty to disallow any such expenditure and surcharge the persons responsible for such unlawful expenditure.

"In its reports, the Auditor General has repeatedly identified persons in the public service that have misused public funds and indicated that they ought to be surcharged. And yet, to date, the Auditor General has not rallied the spine to take that decisive action that the constitution imposes on him.

"So in this era, where we have a crisis of revenue, people who misuse public funds ought to be dealt with without any hesitation, and we are here to make sure that the Auditor General complies with his constitutional obligation and to ensure that public funds are safe.

"This would be part of the message to all public officials who have control of public funds that if they misuse public funds, they will be made to account for it," he told GhanaWeb's George Ayisi during the protest.

Prior to 2017, OccupyGhana, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) led a public crusade on issues of corruption and governance which saw the group holding various protests in the country.

OccupyGhana in 2017 secured a Supreme Court ruling which charged the Auditor General to issue surcharges and disallowance for the various infractions on the government's accounts.

However, since the inception of the current administration, OccupyGhana has been accused of taking a backseat in putting pressure on the government and state institutions. The group has been accused of being in bed with the current government.


But according to lawyer Ampaw, the Citizens Coalition, by its structure, is insulated from political associations. He, however, underscored that Occupy Ghana continues to play a significant role in the advocacy terrain, including pushing for the Auditor General to exercise his powers.

"You know that for us, Citizens Coalition, one of our important membership conditions is that you will not be a member or an active participant in any party-political organisation. So that helps to insulate us from the kind of problems that may have occurred in the past.

"But it isn't really true that OccupyGhana is not doing anything. OccupyGhana has been pushing this matter with the Auditor General. So it may not be on the streets, but it is still defending rights and ensuring that so-called duty bearers comply with their obligations to the public," he said.

Other prominent members of the Coalition who joined Monday's protest include lawyer Samson Ayenini, lawyer Martin Kpebu, Kofi Asare of Africa Education Watch, Nana Ama Agyemang Asante, Edem Senanu and Akwasi Pumpuni and Kofi Bentil.


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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