Ghana’s legal system overprotects corrupt officials – Akwetey

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Ghana’s legal system shields corrupt officials, a situation that is making the fight against corruption difficult, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), has said.

He noted that the legal regime at the moment gives very little room to effectively tackle the problems.

“Our legal culture overprotects  the corrupt, he said during the Ghana National Forum on Political Party Manifesto, organized by Media General in partnership with Penplusbytes on Wednesday, October 14.

He added “There is a lot of shelter the system gives them and is allowing us very little room”

He further noted that corruption keeps rearing its head in Ghana because corrupt officials are not being punished enough.

He said failure to punish corrupt officials is hampering the efforts to deal with the situation in the country.

“We do have a very serious problem where we are not punishing anything,” he said.

“People measure the fight against corruption in two ways either you are punishing those known to be corrupt  and so may be numbers in jail or refunding the money, there must be tangible results delivered.”

“Impunity must not be tolerated and celebrated.”

For his part, Professor H. Kwesi Prempah, the Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) said private citizens in Ghana should be permitted to prosecute corruption cases in Ghana,

He noted that this will help in the fight against corruption especially when the institutions tasked to fight the canker seem not be to be doing enough on this development.

In most advanced countries with best practices, he said, private individuals are allowed to prosecute corrupt officials.

“Why can’t I take my case to court to prosecute the case myself. It happens in other country,” he said.

Touching on whether or not political party manifestos play significant roles in the fight against graft, he noted that the documents actually do play a key role in the fight.

He explained that the documents give voters and the general public a fair idea of which of the political parties take the issue of corruption seriously especially ahead of major elections.

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