General Politics

Collapse EOCO, other institutions and operate an office to solely fight graft – Kofi Bentil

Senior Vice President, IMANI-Africa, Kofi Bentil, has called for the collapse of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and all other anti-corruption institutions in the country.

He says the country needs a sole anti-corruption office to be fully equipped to fight corruption.

“We have a plethora of these institutions. We need to collapse all of them. OSP, EOCO, all of them should be collapsed and let’s leave only one and empower them.

“Indeed, with or without the plethora of the institutions, if you have a leader at the top who is signalling the right things we will be effective in fighting corruption,” he stated.

Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, December 18, the private legal practitioner argued that irrespective of the number of institutions, the country cannot win the fight against corruption without effective leadership.

“On the other hand, we can multiply laws and institutions unto ourselves, the law against causing financial loss, and we have all other kinds of things going on, as you are aware.

“If we don’t get the leadership, it doesn’t matter if we have 100 institutions against corruption; we would still be a corrupt people,” he noted.

President Akufo-Addo, at an event to mark World Corruption Day, stated that his administration has undertaken “arguably” the boldest steps in dealing with corruption since Ghana attained independence nearly 65 years ago.

According to him, all allegations of corruption levelled against his appointees so far have been probed.

“My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant inquiry and necessary actions, including, if required, the suspension of the affected official pending the conclusion of the investigation. That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of national leadership,” he said.

Mr Kofi Bentil wants more than just talk.

He said, “When it comes to fighting corruption, our leaders make the laws, set up institutions and appoint people and then leave it there.

“The potential of these institutions to do real work is somehow lost immediately after the law is passed, the institution is formed, and the people are put into office and so you will find politicians running over themselves to appoint people and after that, we don’t see any action.”

According to Mr Bentil, President Akufo-Addo’s actions against fighting corruption do not bear the trust reposed in him to fight corruption.

“The acts and utterances of this president do not bear out the trust we held in him as somebody who was going to fight corruption.

“Unfortunately, that is the fact. Particularly disappointing because he came with very high credentials and we thought this was our hope that somebody was really going to stand up and fight corruption. We should find a way to avoid this in the future,” Mr Bentil said.

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