Organisers of an anti-corruption demonstration aimed at compelling the government to retrieve stolen funds from former public office holders have given the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) three months to recover sums of money and prosecute the offenders.
Clad in red ostensibly to show their anger towards what the organisers, Adom FM, said was wanton loot of the public purse, the peaceful protest ended up at the EOCO.
Dubbed “Fabewoso”, the demonstration attracted about 2,000 people from all walks of life, including some members of OccupyGhana, and hip-life sensation, Barima Sidney, who has been vocal on corruption.
They called for investigations and the prosecution of persons alleged to have been involved in corrupt acts in various reports, especially the Auditor-General’s Report.
Led by the vociferous Adom FM presenter, Captain Smart, the demonstrators converged on the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange before marching through the Farrisco Traffic Light through to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) offices. They arrived at the offices of EOCO to present a petition and piles of documents to the anti-graft agency.
“We are giving EOCO three months within which they must work and investigate persons engaged in acts of corruption who are in the documents we have presented to them,” Captain Smart stated.
He said if the anti-graft organisation failed to heed their request, they would stage another protest in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, to register their displeasure.
Captain Smart said from the 310 documents that the leaders of the demonstration had presented, it was clear that Ghana’s public debt from the time of the country’s independence to date was in the region of GH¢127 billion.
Out of the amount, he said, as much as GH¢112 billion was in the pockets and hands of some corrupt individuals, which needed to be retrieved.
It is the first time a media house has decided to take the fight against corruption outside its newsroom to the streets.
The protestors carried placards with messages, including “Stealers need psychiatric evaluation, Ghana Must Work, We need our gargantuan money,” “Pass RTI Bill”, “Simpa Panyin hates corruption,” “#Yegyeyensika.”
Many who could not participate in the demonstration applauded the participants as they sang and danced on their way to deliver their petition.
With some former appointees of state institutions in the administration coming under scrutiny for their involvement in alleged corrupt acts, Barima Sidney said it was not enough to retrieve the funds but the culprits must also face the law.
“It is about corruption. Ghana has declared war against galamsey which I think is very good, but to me I think corruption is a big issue we are facing here. We know it is a new government. All we are saying here is it is not really about politicians. There are a lot of chief executive officers from the Standard Board chopping individuals’ money (sic).”
In the last few months, issues of corruption in state institutions, including the Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Standards Authority and the National Communications Authority have set tongues wagging about the state of corruption in the country.
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