“Ghana is losing corruption fight”
An allegation of corruption preferred against two directors at the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has been described as an affront to the country’s efforts at minimising, if not completely eliminating corruption in the public service.
The police, on Monday, arrested two directors at the Electoral Commission for allegedly taking GH¢1,600 bribe from the flagbearer of the New Vision Party, Prophet Daniel Nkansah.
The two are Mr. Isaac Kofi Asumani, Director of Elections, and Asante Kissi, Director of Elections in charge of Logistics.
Mr. Asumani has since denied the allegation. The two are currently on police enquiry bail pending investigations.
But the Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, a local chapter of Transparency International, Vitus Azeem, says it appears Ghana is not winning the fight against corruption in the face of recent happenings.
The allegations, according to him, were worrying, especially as the country goes into elections in December. He spoke to The Chronicle in a telephone interview yesterday.
He admitted that such practices are likely to happen in any institution, but tasked the Electoral Commission to set up an internal enquiry into the allegation, and not be seen as defending the officials named so as to maintain the integrity of the commission.
Prophet Daniel Nkansah has on various platforms insisted he paid the money to the two EC officials, so he could be cleared to contest the December elections.
Prophet Daniel Nkansah told Adom FM on Monday that even though he paid his nomination fees, he was made to believe that irrespective of how “genuine” his forms were, the “secret” was that he would be disqualified if he did not perform what he said was termed ‘amamre’, to wit custom.
Prophet Nkansah claimed the officials initially demanded an amount of GH¢10,000, which they claimed would be shared among some “big men” at the EC, to enable facilitation of his nomination forms. Mr. Nkansah claimed he offered GH¢1,000, which was rejected by the officials named.
He claimed he was made to add GH¢600, to which he obliged, and paid in GH¢50 notes to Mr. Asumani in the presence of Mr. Kissi.
But Mr. Azeem says this developments was unfortunate if found to be true, and one which had the tendency to blot the hard earned image of the EC.
According to him, people who seek leadership positions in the country must not be seen in any uncompromising situation, and expressed grave concern about the conduct of the flagbearer of the Vison Party, Prophet Daniel Nkansah.
Prophet Daniel Nkansah’s nomination forms were rejected by the Electoral Commission last Thursday, because they failed to meet the requirements. He, however, indicated his readiness to cooperate with the police to get to the root of the matter.
Ghana dropped seven places on annual corruption in the last corruption index collated by Transparency International.
Transparency International’s annual index of the Corruption Perception ranks 183 nations on a scale of 0 to a best score of 10. Ghana’s score fell from 4.1 last year to 3.9 this year, bringing its international ranking down from 62nd least corrupt to 69th. Ghana’s score has been slowly improving since 2006.
In a recent research conducted by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, more than half of Ghanaians believed that some of their elected national officers were corrupt, with a majority of the remainder convinced that most of them perpetuate corrupt acts.
The Afrobarometer, managed by (CDD-Ghana), in collaboration with some partners, also found after collating the response of 2,400 Ghanaian adult interviewees that the majority of Ghanaians support the local media’s exposure of government mistakes and corruption, yet believed the incidence of corruption among public officials was on the increase.
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=48736