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CHRAJ Boss Urges Citizens to Report Acts of Corruption

The Municipal Director for the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in the Yilo Krobo municipality in the Eastern region has encouraged the general public to serve as whistleblowers against persons who indulge in acts of corruption against the State.

Mr. James Awumey who made the call at an anti-corruption workshop facilitated by the National Commission on Civic Education, NCCE for the Ghana Integrity Initiative and its district subsidiary, Social Auditing Club charged citizens to take up the responsibility of exposing corrupt individuals as their contribution towards the fight against the canker.

“Citizens owe the State the responsibility of reporting individuals who involve themselves in corrupt acts and this should be the priority of every Ghanaian,” Mr. Awumey stressed.

Corruption in Ghana has been common since independence. Since 2006, Ghana’s score and ranking on the International  Perception  Corruption  Index has improved slightly, ranked higher than Italy. and Brazil. However, there is a growing perception in Ghana that government-related corruption is on the rise.,

According to him, corrupt practices such as bribery, smuggling, examination malpractices, human trafficking and many others are detestable acts of corruption that shouldn’t be countenanced.

The Municipal Director who cited the country’s anti-corruption acts to buttress his point said the act encourages Ghanaians to speak up about the canker.

Corruption continues to impede the progress of development in this country and most Ghanaians seem concerned about the development.

The Whistleblower Act, 2006 (Act 720) was enacted to empower people to expose corrupt practices and wrongdoing.

Regrettably, the Act was not accessible to most Ghanaians even though citizens need to understand the law in a simplified way and apply it so that it will be able to achieve the purpose for which it was intended.

“Everyone should be a whistleblower,” he said. “A whistleblower is a person who reports corruption cases sincerely to the police, Attorney General, chiefs, pastors, MCEs, CHRAJ and many other nearby institutions without withholding those individuals in private.”

Leaders of the various institutions and other citizens who involve in any corruptible acts must face the Anti-corruption Law of the country, Mr. Awumey added.

In an interview with Rite news, he said “In order for corruption to be minimized, if not eradicated totally, there must be a thorough education to the general public in the sense of creating awareness,” adding that such acts attract heavy penalties.

He entreated the citizenry to be “citizens and not spectators” as stated by Martin Luther King as everyone should help to report offenders or any form of impropriety with immediate effect.

The 1992 constitution provided for the establishment of a Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). Among other things, the Commission is charged with investigating all instances of alleged and suspected corruption and the misappropriation of public funds by officials.

The Commission is also authorized to take appropriate steps, including providing reports to the Attorney General  and the Auditor-General, in response to such investigations.

The Commission has a mandate to prosecute alleged offenders when there is sufficient evidence to initiate legal actions. The Commission, however, is under-resourced and few prosecutions have been made since its inception.

Source: Rita Nkansah /www.ritefmonline.org/rnkansah12@gmail.com

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