Investigative journalist Manasseh Azuri Awuni has ranked the presidency’s decision to ask Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo to take his accumulated leave of 123 days as the biggest corruption issue of the decade.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile Saturday, noted that although the demand may not be a ‘typical corruption case’, it, however, exhibits the Akufo-Addo government unwillingness to clamp down on the act.
According to him, state institutions like the Auditor-General’s Department plays a significant role in fighting corruption, therefore, asking the leader of such an institution to go on such ‘unrealistic’ leave, questions President Akufo-Addo’s much-touted anti-corruption tagline.
“… Some of us thought that once Daniel Yao Domelevo the Auditor-General was beginning to let politicians sit up, it will continue and inspire other anti-Corruption Public Institutions to also act. Unfortunately, he was asked to go home [leave].
“So for me, this is one of the biggest corruption issues in this country and not only for this year but perhaps for the decade because it is not only the act happening or not happening it means the very institutions that have been set up to fight corruption are being undermined,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo in June asked Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo to take an accumulated leave of 123 days which was later extended to 167 days, effective July 1.
The move was highly criticised by Civil Society Organisations who have further called for the reinstatement of Mr. Domelevo.
According to the CSOs President Akufo-Addo cannot ask the Auditor-General to proceed on leave when he has been assigned a special duty to investigate the payment of $1million to Kroll and Associates Limited by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo for some consultancy services.
The move has also been criticsed by some members of the NDC who say this is a strategy employed by government to shield the Senior Minster from being investigated on the matter.
Despite these accusations, President Akufo-Addo insists he cannot grant demands of persons calling for the reinstatement of the Auditor-General because the Constitution makes provision for him to take his forfeited leave.
Mr Awuni Azuri was, however, optimistic that a corruption-free system can be actualised if the country gets a leader who is determined to fight the acts.
“I have heard a lot of people talk about the fact that our campaign financing and democratic processes, in variable breeds corruption. But I also believe that there are two ways that this corruption can be fought.
“If we ever get an honest and credible leader who is committed to fighting corruption that will make a great difference and good state institutions,” he stated.