Lacklustre attitude to corruption fight hindering progress – NCCE
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has expressed concern over the lack of interest by some members of the public in pursuing cases of corruption to their logical conclusions.
That, the Commission said, was hampering efforts at achieving a zero- corruption society and fostering national development.
Mrs Lucille Hewlett Annan, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the NCCE, said this while addressing students of the Pentecost University College at a forum on: “Enhancing public accountability and environmental governance.”
She said people only alleged acts of corruption without giving concrete evidence, making such claims insufficient to have an alleged culprit arraigned before the courts for prosecution.
“It is only the court that has the right to prosecute an offender and so once you know that this person has been involved in a corrupt act you must be able to prove it. But the problem we have is that people who allege do that on social media but are unwilling to pursue the matter at the law court,” Mrs Annan said.
“How many of us are willing to go to court over a driver who has bribed a policeman? We will complain about not having time to pursue that. But this is something you saw the policeman and the driver do, which is evidential.”
“The only way we can win this fight is to take up such issues and follow up to the law court, which has the legitimacy to prosecute such cases, and prove that the act actually occurred.”
The forum, organised by the Greater Accra Regional Directorate of the NCCE, was to empower citizens to demand accountability from duty bearers to enable them to report all acts of corruption to the appropriate authorities.
It forms part of the Commission’s Anti-corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme and the National Anti-corruption Action Plan funded by the European Union.
It is to help reduce corruption and improve accountability, probity, transparency and compliance of the citizenry to the Rule of Law.
Touching on the youth’s role in ensuring the canker was reduced, Mrs Annan urged them, especially students, to have a change in attitude towards corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability.
That, she said, was critical to attaining good governance and fostering national development, especially as they would be duty bearers in the future.
Mr Godfrey Ebo Arhin, a Senior Investigator at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, said even though the state and mandated institutions had been ascribed to fight the canker, the role of citizens in ensuring its realisation could not be underestimated.
He said Acts such as the Economic and Organised Crime Office Act, 2010 (Act 804), the Whistleblower Act 2006, (Act 720) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act 2017, (Act 959) had all been enacted to help fight corruption.
He, therefore, urged citizens to interrogate every aspect of the current system to enable them to ascertain why such institutions had not produced the desired results.
Mr Arhin advised the youth to eschew corrupt practices and refrain from becoming conduits through which they flourished.