Opinions Wed, 26 Oct 2016

EOCO must play it fairly

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in an unprecedented move has invited leaders of two political parties to explain the sources of their income for their political campaigns.

Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Dr Hassan Ayariga of the All People’s Congress (APC) have been summoned, based on claims they made of spending millions of dollars on their campaigns.

The call-up by EOCO is surprising as it is intriguing because this is the first time such invitation is being extended by the office to political parties.

It is curious that only two of the political parties aiming to contest the December election have been invited to explain the source of their income.

The Times is not questioning the mandate of EOCO in investigating such matters, but one would have thought that this exercise would have begun not with PPP or APC alone, but with all the parties and their presidential candidates.

We are not also assuming that the political parties could be using funds not properly acquired.

Our concern is that EOCO’s action may be misconstrued as an exercise targeted at few parties.

Public opinion as gauged by the Times, show that majority of Ghanaians view EOCO’s action unfavourably, even though that may not be based on any law.

We would prefer to argue on the side of the law, but we are constrained to do so looking at the mood of the country.

The Times expect EOCO to measure public sentiment against its intended action.

Since this is the first time such an exercise is being conducted, and coming on the back of recent Electoral Commission’s disqualification of the two presidential candidates from contesting the December election, we feel that that is enough trouble for the two parties.

However, if EOCO’s action would sanitise the electoral system by protecting it from the infiltration of monies from questionable sources, then we must all support the investigative exercise.
Columnist: Ghanaian Times
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