Former President John Dramani Mahama has taken a swipe at President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the way he handles his appointees accused of corruption.
The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) criticized President Akufo-Addo and labeled him as a “clearing agent” due to allegations of absolving his appointees of corruption charges
He however stated that if he is elected for a second presidency, all appointees accused of corruption will be subjected to the full force of the law.
According to him, these appointees would be handed over to constitutionally mandated institutions for investigation and prosecution.
“We have our work cut out for us when it comes to the Executive,” he said on Saturday, September 2 when he addressed the 3rd Annual Lawyers Conference of the NDC in Akosombo in the Eastern Region.
“We must make sure that we restore the trust of our people in the Executive and that people will not come into office and that money is going to found under their bed,” he spoke virtually.
“At least, I can guarantee and assure the nation that I am not going to be a clearing agent president and that if people are accused of corruption, we will allow the constitutional bodies that are mandated to deal with those issues to go ahead to do their work and carry out those investigations,” Mr. Mahama said.
He stressed that “It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing or of engaging in acts of corruption.
“My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant enquiry and necessary action.
“That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of leadership on 7th January, 2017.
“If an appointee is cleared of any wrongdoing, the evidence adduced and recommendations made by these agencies, after the investigations are concluded, are what clear the accused persons, not myself. None of these agencies has ever indicated any pressure from the Executive over their investigations.”
This comes after somewhere in July, Akufo-Addo expressed confidence in the former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who resigned following issues related to stolen money from her home. Akufo-Addo’s statement defending her integrity drew criticism for potentially influencing ongoing investigations.
The label of “clearing agent” has been used to criticize Akufo-Addo for frequently clearing his appointees of corruption allegations.
In response, Akufo-Addo stated in 2019 that it is not his role to exonerate or convict individuals accused of wrongdoing. He emphasized that his duty is to refer allegations of corruption to the proper investigative agencies for appropriate action.
By Vincent Kubi