The Coalition of Northern Ghana Civil Society Organisations has commended the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for conducting investigations into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in the Northern Development Authority (NDA).
The investigation was in respect of a contract awarded to A & B Consortium Services under the infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme.
The commendation was in a statement signed by Mr Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, the National Coordinator of the Coalition of Northern Ghana Civil Society Organisations in collaboration with the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA).
It said: “The directive of the OSP to the Accountant and Controller General to freeze payment arising from the alleged fraudulent contract of Ten Million Ghana cedis and the arrest of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NDA, his deputies and an official from the Jubilee House are particularly commendable.
“As a Coalition working not only to influence increased public investment in Northern Ghana for an accelerated socio-economic transformation of the area for shared prosperity of all Ghanaians, but also working to promote transparency and accountability in public resource management, it has keen interest in the matter.
“We therefore wish to call on government particularly his Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana and his Vice President to reassure the Ghanaian people of their determination and commitment to fight corruption by immediately giving a directive to the affected officials particularly the CEO of NDA, the two deputy CEOs of the NDA and any other suspect including those at the presidency to step aside for unimpeded investigations into the matter,” the statement said.
It stated that in the view of the Coalition, the continuous stay of the accused officials has the potential of obstructing or impeding the smooth conduct of the investigations into their alleged corrupt acts and of course compromising the quality of the outcome of the investigations.
“As a matter of fact, Northern Ghana is home to extreme poverty, food insecurity and limited employment opportunities. This situation certainly, without doubt, poses a serious threat to the country’s efforts made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. (SDGs).
“The Coalition therefore finds it regrettable that the northerner with the finest privileged opportunity to serve and lead his people out of poverty and general underdevelopment through public service would turn round to rob his own people of the much-needed poverty eradication programme,” the statement said.
It stated that it is an undeniable fact that the quantum of money involved in this suspected corruption scandal was significant enough to provide poor and deprived communities with potable drinking water, farm inputs, health facilities and many more life-transforming facilities in line with the NDA’s mandate of accelerating economic and social development in Northern Ghana.
“Against this backdrop, it will only take a person with no sense of patriotism and love for humanity especially the poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups to consciously engage in acts that seek to deepen poverty and vulnerability in a poverty-stricken area like Northern Ghana,” it stated.
The statement said it was important that the Coalition was currently compiling a lot of information on many more suspected corruption related issues in NDA and would share with the public through a press conference as soon as practicable.
“While using this opportunity to also commend the former CEO of NDA, Dr Sulemana Anamzoya and Martin Kpebu for their bold decisions to petition the Presidency and OSP respectively on this matter, the Coalition, in view of the sad reality that, corruption has become so pervasive, endemic and cancerous in public service and the generality of the Ghanaian society, wishes to call on every Ghanaian especially anti-corruption agencies and crusaders to show much more interest in the issue and speak up to end the sustained efforts made by heartless individuals to promote corruption and deny the state of her effort to provide social and economic development to curb widespread poverty and deprivation in the country.
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