The Supreme Court Has Spoken: The Attorney General Must Expedite Action

THE Supreme Court last week spoke in clear terms when it ordered the Auditor-General (A-G) to recover all state funds which have been stolen by individuals.

THIS followed a judgement by a seven-member panel which was chaired by now Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo.

ADDITIONALLY, the country’s apex court ordered the Attorney General’s Department to enforce the order by initiating criminal prosecution where necessary.

LAST week’s judgement was in respect of a suit filed by pressure group, OccupyGhana, in 2016 against the Auditor-General and the Attorney General.

ACCORDING to the pressure group, since the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution, the Auditor-General has been lax in surcharging people who have been found to have embezzled state funds.

OCCUPYGHANA went on to disclose that its findings revealed that the misappropriation of state funds had accumulated to the tune GHC40 billion.

THIS is lot of money that can finance many development projects in this country.

HOWEVER, what we find difficult to comprehend is why the A-G is not expediting action to perform its mandate which is boldly enshrined in the constitution.

WE want the money to create jobs for the youth, we want the money to equip our schools and hospitals, above all, persons who go into public service purely to steal for their selfish ends need to be punished.

UNDER Article 187 Clause 7 (b) of the 1992 Constitution, the Auditor-General is given the mandate to surcharge persons who pocket state funds.

ONE may ask: what does this judgement brings to the table?  In Today’s view, it brings more than just a court judgement.

IT adds a lot more weight to our fight against corruption which has been a bane to our country’s growth and development.

THE A-G has further been emboldened to go all out and recover whatever monies have been looted from state coffers.

IT is only when the A-G takes bold steps towards retrieving all our stolen monies, especially with this empowerment order from the Supreme Court, that Ghanaians can boldly say that we are winning the fight against corruption.

AT that point, we can say that it has not been a talk shop.

WE recall that the Supreme Court somewhere in 2012 in a ruling ordered the Attorney General to ensure that businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, pays to the state an amount of GHC51 million Ghana cedis, after the apex court had established that the businessman got the money wrongly.

WHAT did we do after the ruling?  As usual we relaxed until the good people of this country started asking questions, which development saw the businessman pay some GHC4 million Ghana cedis out of the total amount in December last year to the state.

MOVING forward, Today is urging the A-G to this time round, make every necessary effort to recover all misappropriated state funds as established by the Auditor-General and revive confidence in Ghanaians that we are in safe hands and we shall see our stolen monies and the perpetrators brought to book.

FEAR must be put in persons who go into public service just to dip their hands in the public purse and walk away to enjoy their booty.

HENCEFORTH, we need as a country to adopt a more aggressive approach towards recovering misappropriated state funds.

ONCE our monies are retrieved, we would like to see, as the Supreme Court has ordered, criminal prosecutions commenced against individuals found to have siphoned the country’s money.

IT is only in this regard will we be seen to be fighting corruption head on.

THE journey must start now!

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