STRANEK petitions International Community over Corruption in Ghana

Strategic Thinkers Network (STRANEK), a think thank has petitioned the international community, urging them to help resolve some issues currently threatening the stability of Ghana.

A letter signed by the Executive Director of STRANEK, Nii Tettey Tetteh, and copied to High Commissioners and Ambassadors mentioned among others the general concerns on increasing vigilante groups in the country, the entrenching corruption in the current administration, the various corruption scandals including the GhanaPostGPS, the allegation by A-Plus against the two deputy chief of staffs.

“STRANEK-Africa requests that the voices of Civil Society Organisations and the international community be heard opposing the seeming endorsement of corruption by the Akufo-Addo administration, its intolerance for the culture of free speech and the wanton lawlessness and insecurity and support for its affiliate vigilantes in the country,” the petition stated

Read the full statement below:

Dear High Commissioner/Ambassador,

LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD

We greet you in the service of Ghana and Africa.
We at Strategic Thinkers Network (STRANEK) – Africa wish to draw to your attention to a myriad of issues beleaguering our beloved country Ghana, and crave your intervention within your civil society and diplomatic mandates.

Firstly, the current state of insecurity of the country is troubling. There are a number of vigilante groups such as Delta Forces, Invincible Forces, Kandahar Boys, Karaga Boys and the latest is Party Royals taking the law into their own hands. These vigilante groups, which boast in the public domain of being affiliated to the ruling government have manifested an unacceptable level of violence and destruction towards many, including politicians on the opposite side of the divide.

Secondly, day after day corruption seems to becoming more and more deeply rooted in this administration, while the Government helplessly looks on. The scandal at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), which recently rocked the nation is one that cannot be overlooked. The state enterprise is alleged to have sold contaminated fuel to companies which did not have licenses to operate.

Information by industry watchers such as COPEC and the BDC’s Chamber suggest that the contaminated fuel ended up on the open market. The Managing Director of BOST, who by the way is still at post, is alleged to be a shareholder in the unlicensed and unregistered company, Movinpinaa Ltd. which purchased the contaminated fuel. No punitive action has been taken to deal with the matter conclusively.

In another instance, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is alleged to have sole sourced purchase of chemicals for the fight against the fall army worms without following due process. The ministry is said to be requesting for approval from the Public Procurement Authority after the contract has been awarded and executed, a clear of retroactive action which is unconstitutional and defeats the purpose of using the Procurement Act to fight corruption.

Another example of the incessant corruption that has bedeviled this ten month old government is $2.5m dollar digital addressing system app awarded to Vokacom. The contract was for the development and deployment of a digital addressing system, unfortunately the company, Vokacom only created an interface over Google Map without any development of any new system to cost that much. ICT industry players have registered their displeasure at such fraudulent conduct with some requesting for a refund. Some have suggested the president is in a hurry to repay and reward his cronies for the financial support ahead of the 2016 general elections by the award of such dubious contracts.

Thirdly, blatant breaches of the rule of law are on the increase. In a recent expose through a leaked audio tape, a senior police officer who was tasked to investigate the allegations of corruption is heard confirming the allegations of Mr. Kwame Asare Obeng and pleading with him to retract certain aspects of allegations since those he is
accusing are “his people”, obviously referring to the political party in power. Mr. Asare Obeng, popularly known as A Plus had earlier alleged on Facebook some acts of corruption perpetrated by the two Deputy Chiefs of Staff at the Office of the President, Mr. Asenso Boakye and Mr. Abu Jinapor.

This development is of grave concern to us as it compromises the effectiveness and neutrality of the state security. The police officer in the centre of this gross misconduct has been rewarded with the position of the Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department, something that undermines the integrity of our Constitutionality and democracy.

The Akufo-Addo administration seems to be having high intolerance against free speech, suppressing media houses and persons which are critical of government. A case in point is the arrest of Appiah Stadium, a communicator of the opposition party, NDC. He was forced into producing an audio recording which was made public. He was then handcuffed to Accra and held at the Police Headquarters till he was granted bail all in contravention of the law. Appiah Stadium was released upon heavy reign of pressure by well-meaning Ghanaians.

The recent clampdown on media houses critical of government is another dangerous step that cannot be overlooked. The Ministry of Communications in connivance with National Communications Authority, NCA have already shutdown a number of radio stations and have indicated their desire to close down in excess of one hundred more radio stations. Under the guise of monetization speech, these stations are charged exorbitant fees for failing to regularize their operations. Not only are the fees exorbitant but illegal and unconstitutional, yet the Akufo-Addo government is unwavering in the perpetration of such unlawful and illegal acts.

It is also important to note that some heads of some second cycle institutions have either been dismissed or transferred for making public the dire unhygienic and lack of infrastructure to accommodate students as a result of the government’s free first year secondary education. A situation they say is hampering education activity, yet the
government is unlawfully harassing citizens and denying their inalienable right to freedom of speech.

We draw to your attention the recent demonstration against the President H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly, by some Ghanaians in the diaspora. A clear sign of the displeasure of the growing insecurity and lawlessness currently being witnessed under this government STRANEK-Africa requests that the voices of Civil Society Organisations and the international community be heard opposing the seeming endorsement of corruption by the Akufo-Addo administration, its intolerance for the culture of free speech and the wanton lawlessness and insecurity and support for its affiliate vigilantes in the country.

Please accept our warmest assurances.

Signed.

Nii Tettey Tetteh
Executive Director
+233 249 659 467

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