Despite being one of the least corrupt countries in Africa, Ghana, the West Africa country is annually losing billions to graft – a menace that keeps people poor and shatters their dreams.
Corruption in Ghana is relatively low when compared to other countries in Africa, businesses frequently quote corruption as an obstacle for doing business in the country. Corruption occurs often in locally funded contracts, companies are subject to bribes when operating in rural areas.
Ghana’s anti-graft body, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), which is Transparency International’s Local Chapter, has warned in the past that the country “loses close to US$3 billion to corruption annually.”
A recent corruption scandal serves as an example for acts that leave “citizens in poverty, joblessness, in their broken homes and with shattered dreams,” the The National House of Chiefs, the highest body in Ghana that unites all traditional rulers, chiefs and kings revealed in an earlier publication.
In Ghana, the criminal offences code section 179A of the Criminal Code, 1960 (ACT 29) addresses financial loss to the state and it has been the grounds for the sentenced of most public officials in the last 20 years.
The most recent of the convictions based on this law is the sentencing of three former board members of the National Communications Authority (NCA).Board chair Eugene Baffoe Bonnie; former NCA Director-General, William Tevie and former Deputy National Security Coordinator, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman; were given a combined 16-years in prison.
The combined 16 years sentence was for causing financial loss after they played various roles in the purchase of a $4 million cyber-security equipment.
Other successful convictions in Ghana include a former National Coordinator of the defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Abuga Pele, also a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiana-Paga in the Upper East Region was jailed six years for his involvement in the GH¢4.1 million GYEEDA scandal in February 2018.
Businessman Philip Akpeena Assibit, was also jailed 12 years in 2018 along with Mr Pele over the GYEEDA rot.
In 2007, former Member of Parliament for Keta, Dan Abodakpi, was jailed 10 years. He was sentenced on three counts of conspiracy, two counts of defrauding, and two counts of wilfully causing financial loss of $400,000 to the State.
The People’s National Convention (PNC) member and former Minister of Youth and Sports, Mallam Issa, was jailed in 2003 when a sum of $46,000 which was in his car went missing mysteriously during a Black Stars World Cup Qualifier against Sudan in 2002.
An Accra High Court sentenced former Finance Minister, Kwame Peprah to 4 years in prison in 2003 for his role in the Quality Grain scandal. He was charged with conspiracy and causing financial loss of 20 million dollars to the state in a rice project at Aveyime in the Volta Region.
Former Deputy Minister of Finance, Victor Selormey was accused of conspiring with the then Minister of Trade and Industry, Dan Abodakpi to divert $400,000 meant for a project. He was sentenced in 2001 for his involvement in the Quality Grain Scandal. Selormey, was convicted on all the six counts of defrauding by false pretence, conspiracy, and causing financial loss to the State.