Not Every Public Office Holder Is Corrupt –AG

Mr. Godfred Yeboah


Ghana has recorded several corruption cases involving individuals or groups in government agencies and departments, which has been attributed to the many blanket statements that public office holders are corrupt.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, however holds the view that it is inaccurate to point fingers at public office holders without any substantiated evidence, indicating that making generalizations about specific groups of people based on physical appearance is not constructive and can perpetuate stereotypes.

Mr. Dame believes that while it is important to address corruption through measures such as promoting transparency, strengthening accountability mechanisms, enforcing anti-corruption laws, and fostering a culture of integrity in the public service, there is a need to desist from attributing it to superficial characteristics.

He blamed the generalization that “public holders are corrupt” on sensationalism on the part of investigative bodies, civil society, and the public, stating that investigative bodies must be honest and bold enough to disclose to the public the full results of investigations into allegations of corruption against members of government which turn out to be untrue.

“The fight against corruption also requires honesty and integrity in the disclosure of results. There must be the avoidance of sensationalism by all involved investigative bodies, civil society, and the public.

“It augurs well for the fight if the results of corruption allegations against public officers, particularly senior members of government, which are investigated and refuted or unsubstantiated, are fully put out by investigative bodies,” he said.

The AG said this is one sure way to boost the confidence of the public in their government and will reduce the suspicions, distrust, and cynicism with which the public views officeholders.

“After all, it is a truism that not every public office holder is corrupt. Investigative authorities must discard the view that the only way to remain relevant is by keeping the flame of allegations of corruption against public office holders burning, even if the same, to their knowledge are unfounded and in fact, baseless,” he stated.

Mr. Dame made this statement at the 14th Commonwealth Regional Conference held in Accra under the theme, “Strengthening Institutions and Promoting Transparency: A Means of Fighting Corruption in Commonwealth Africa”.

The Conference brought together the members of the Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa, senior government officials, relevant international organizations, policymakers, legislators, development partners, and resource persons to discuss key priorities aimed at the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions).

Mr. Dame emphasized the need to enhance state cooperation and collaboration in the fight against corruption saying, “The development of our economies and the global financial system are at risk from exploiters of weaknesses in the system to perpetrate financially motivated crime. Through a coordinated effort, based on mutual cooperation between criminal justice partners and the private sector worldwide, we can conquer wrongdoers and opportunists.”

He reiterated that criminals exploit differences between countries to further their objectives, enrich their organizations, expand their power, and avoid detection or apprehension.

“The need for states to cooperate in combating the threat of economic crimes is, therefore, more than imperative. When those who have been entrusted with authority to ensure that the right procedures are followed derelict on the same, the trust and confidence of the people are abused,” he said.

“We need to punish corruption and other forms of economic crime through a fair, honest, and efficient justice system,” he added.


By Prince Fiifi Yorke