President John Dramani Mahama has taken a conscious political risk by fighting corruption, says the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the exposure of corrupt acts by the current government is risky because it increases the perception of corruption in the NDC government.
“It is easy for people to jump to the conclusion that because they are always hearing about corruption stories, then corruption is on the ascendancy,” he told host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Kojo Yankson.
President John Dramani Mahama touted his achievements in the fight against corruption in the country during the presentation of the State of the Nation Address in Parliament, Thursday, February 25, 2016.
He said his government has tackled corruption ‘with determination and fortitude in an effort to stump out systemic indiscipline’ in the public and social services.
The NDC General Secretary commended President John Mahama for ‘bringing about that level of transparency that makes sure nobody engages in corrupt activities and gets away with it’.
But he said prosecution is not the only way to deal with corruption. This was his answer to Kojo Yankson when asked whether he (Asiedu Nketia) was content with the retrieval of money from Smartty’s Management and Productions Company without prosecution.
Among the examples of corrupt activities is the recent bus branding saga which involves Smartty’s and the Transport Ministry.
It was discovered after months that the management and production company was paid an excess of Gh ? 1.9million for the rebranding of 116 buses.
The company said it would pay the excess money back to the state in installment after the Chief of Staff ordered the Attorney General to retrieve the money.
According to Asiedu Nketia, concrete evidence and the probability of securing successful conviction determine the decision to prosecute people.
He said prosecuting the persons involved in the deal is engaging in ‘instant justice’. “It is not just that anything that happens must end in prosecution. If you proceed in that trajectory then you are crucifying law, that is why there is legal advice to every president.”
“If I were a president and I know that the amount [I am] chasing is maybe 1 million and if [I] chose a way of prosecution [I] will end up spending four million chasing one million and there is another alternative to retrieve the one million without spending that money, I will go for the second one,” he indicated.
Mr Asiedu Nketia added that “as a nation, we are fighting to make sure that alternative dispute system becomes part of our justice system.”