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Presidency, others need an ethics czar to avert Labianca gate - Prof. Gyimah-Boadi

Council Of State?fit=640%2C360&ssl=1 Akufo-Addo in a group photo with members of Council of State

Mon, 22 Aug 2022 Source:

Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, a former Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Development, CDD-Ghana, has called for an ethics czar at the presidency in order to avert the recurrence of the Labianca tax evasion and conflict-of-interest episode.

In an Asaase Radio reportage of August 20, 2022; the professor is quoted as lamenting how the President through his appointment of a Council of State board looked to have set the appointee up for confict-of-interest breach.

He described the running saga as a "sordid episode," that "speaks specifically to the entrenchment of incumbent leaders and political elite capture of Ghana."

He also advocated for an ethics ombudsman at the Presidency and other top state governance advisory entities to advice on such issue and to forestall a repeat of what had played out so far.

H asked: "is it appropriate for the President to appoint a member of the Council of State to a state agency board? Was there an objectively compelling public interest-related reason for the President to make such an appointment?"

He further requested whether the Council of State had approved the said appointment of one of its members to a state agency board position.

“Therefore, as a recommendation, this unfortunate event highlights the urgent need for an ethics czar at the Presidency, Executive Branch, Council of State, and other important decision-making and public resource allocation agencies and institutions,” it added.


An amount of GH¢1.074 million was retrieved by the Office of the Special Prosecutor from the Labianca Company Limited, a frozen foods company, which belonging to the member of the Council of State.

The amount represented a deficit in import duties paid to the state.

According to the investigative report, Ms. Asomah-Hinneh used her position as a member of the Council of State and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to influence a favourable decision from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), leading to a reduction in the tax liabilities of Labianca Limited.

A Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of Operations, Joseph Adu Kyei, was cited by the OSP for issuing what it described as an unlawful customs advance ruling.

This, according to the report, reduced the benchmark values of the goods imported by Labianca Limited, translating to reduced tax obligations of the company to the state.


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