Andy Kankam, Editor of the Informer Newspaper, has intimated that public office holders found guilty of misappropriation of funds in the Auditor General’s report should be sentenced.
Speaking on the Auditor General’s report, he stated that sentencing them will serve as a deterrent to other officials. According to him, the officers found guilty should not just be allowed to refund the monies involved, but go to jail. He explained that, allowing for refunds only gives more room for corruption.
“It is the duty of the Auditor General to submit these audit reports to Parliament for recommendations. But what disappoints me is that every year these reports come but we don’t see any results. From the report, a staff of NEDCo was supposed to pay money into state accounts but refused. Now the report has asked him to just refund the amount with interest and I don’t agree to it.
“This individual must be placed behind bars and not be asked to refund any money. The Minister of Energy must ensure people working under his Ministry are diligent. Such a person deserves a jail term as refunding the money is not enough, the culprit needs to be jailed.”Andy Kankam
He further stated that authorities need to start punishing culprits and not just making publications.
Launch second inquiry into Sputnik V deal
Touching on the vaccine procurement probe, Andy Kankam also insisted that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) launches a second inquiry into the Sputnik V procurement breaches.
He said although the Minister of Health has answered some questions, they are unsatisfactory as the Finance Ministry also played a role in the deal.
“I am suggesting we launch a second investigation into the Sputnik V procurement breaches. How can a minister who is in charge of a Ministry spearheading the procurement of a vaccine appear before a committee and say he is not aware of any monies being made as part payment to the middle man?
“He said this only for letters from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to prove the Finance Ministry had made some payments, and for PAC to make recommendations for the recovery of the said amount.”Andy Kankam
Reacting to the Minister of Health, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu’s testimony at PAC, Andy Kankam suggests the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, should not be let off the hook.
“The Finance Minister must not be left to go scot-free and that is why I am calling for a second investigation into this scandal. How come the Finance Minister made payments to the Sheikh without informing the Health Minister.”Andy Kankam
Don’t involve Finance Minister
Also contributing to the conversation, Awudu Mahama, Editor of the Custodian newspaper was however of the view that the Finance Minister should not be dragged into a mess created by the Health Minister.
“This is not something we should condone. We don’t need to drag the Finance Minister into this. The payment process couldn’t have been done without the Health Minister. Dr. Kwaku Agyemang Manu signed documents for payments to be made and there are documents proving that. We shouldn’t rush to burden the Finance Minister.”Awudu Mahama
He indicated that it was per the Minister of Health’s instructions that 50 percent payment was made to Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum.
Contrasting Andy Kankam’s assertion, Awudu Mahama objected to the jailing of corrupt officials. Rather, he suggested that corrupt officials should refund the stolen money and that is the way to go.
“We don’t want people who steal or misappropriate state funds to be jailed,;they should be made to pay up these monies with interest rather than waste the tax payer’s money to care for them in jail.”Awudu Mahama