Manasseh Azure Awuni has described the decision by President Akufo-Addo to ask the Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo to proceed on a 123-day accumulated leave (later increased to 167 days) as the biggest corruption issue of the decade.
According to the freelance investigative journalist, the demand by the presidency was a “typical corruption case” and dents President Akufo-Addo's willingness to clamp down on corruption.
Speaking on Joy FM's Newsfile, monitored by GhanaWeb, Manasseh Azure Awuni explained that on fighting corruption, the Auditor-General’s Department plays a significant role. Hence, asking a leader like Daniel Yaw Domelevo, who heads such an institution to go on some “unrealistic” leave questions Akufo-Addo’s much propagated anti-corruption tagline.
“… Some of us thought that once Daniel Yao Domelevo the Auditor-General was beginning to let politicians sit up, it will continue and inspire other anti-corruption public institutions to also act. Unfortunately, he was asked to go home [leave]," Manasseh said.
“So, for me, this is one of the biggest corruption issues in this country and not only for this year but perhaps for the decade because it is not only the act happening or not happening, it means the very institutions that have been set up to fight corruption are being undermined.”
He further indicated that a corruption-free society can be actualised if the country gets a leader who is determined to fight this social canker.
“I have heard a lot of people talk about the fact that our campaign financing and democratic processes, invariably breeds corruption. But I also believe that there are two ways that this corruption can be fought.
“If we ever get an honest and credible leader who is committed to fighting corruption that will make a great difference,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo in June asked the Auditor-General Daniel Yao Domelevo to take an accumulated leave of 123 days which was later extended to 167 days, effective July 1, 2020.
This move has been highly criticised by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who have further called for the reinstatement of Domelevo.
The CSOs believe President Akufo-Addo cannot ask the Auditor-General to proceed on leave since the A-G's office falls under Parliament.
The move has also been criticised by some members of the NDC who say this is a strategy employed by the government to shield the Senior Minister from being investigated on the Kroll matter.
Despite these concerns, President Akufo-Addo insists he cannot grant demands of persons calling for the return of the Auditor-General because the Constitution makes provision for him to take his forfeited leave.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Auditor-General should resume duty by March 2021.