A Director in charge of corruption at Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Charles Ayamdoo, has made a passionate appeal to the media, especially, those into investigative reporting to always involve relevant state agencies like the Police, the Bureau of National Investigation and CHRAJ so as to get the needed results.

Mr. Ayamdoo made the appeal in a presentation to the media at Bolgatanga on the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP). He also asked the media to allot free airtime and print space for the Commission to implement the NACAP agenda and other related anti-corruption activities.

He explained that the NACAP which was promulgated in 2012 following intensive consultations at the national, regional and district levels is a national plan of action to combat corruption in Ghana over the next 10 years.

According to Mr. Ayamdoo, NACAP will achieve its main purpose through four strategic objectives including building capacity to condemn and fight corruption as well as making it a high-risk practice, to institutionalise efficiency, accountability and transparency in the public and private sectors, also to engage individuals, media and civil society organisations to report and combat corruption and lastly, to conduct effective investigations and prosecution of corrupt conduct.

Acting CHRAJ Commissioner, Mr. Richard Quayson, in his submission, noted that corruption has been around for ages and cautioned that it would not take a few years to eliminate itm, stressing that all stakeholders ought to be patient while persevering in the fight against the practice. He disclosed that CHRAJ had partnered stakeholders including the Ghana Education Service to devote 45 minutes of instructional time on corruption lessons. It also got nursing training institutions to teach health professionals on basic human rights so as observe them in the discharge of duties.

Mr. Quayson, together with other officials of the Commission, also told the media practitioners that, some discussions were ongoing to amend portions of the CHRAJ Act 1993 (Act 456) so as to allow the Commission to initiate investigations on its own without necessarily waiting for complaints to made to it first. He noted that as at now, the Commission cannot commence investigations into matters of conflict of interest and abuse of office until an aggrieved person files a complaint to it first.

Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. James Zuugah Tiigah, who also addressed the participants at the CHRAJ-media encounter, observed that the canker of corruption was brewing and growing by the day and expressed regrets that clear issues of corruption were often highly politicised in Ghana thus making it cumbersome to deal with culprits objectively and decisively. He urged the media not to focus on personalities in their reportage on corruption matters but rather, deal with the facts and merits as the case may be.

A Governance Advisor and anti-corruption campaigner at the Presidency, Mr. Daniel Batidam in his statement reminded the media that as gatekeepers, practitioners ought to question submissions by professionals in their respective fields and others who comment on corruption issues else, if these decide to propagate untruths and the media carries it wholesale, then the public is doomed.

Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)

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