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I’m not a clearing agent – Akufo-Addo ‘jabs’ Mahama

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appears to have taken a swipe at former President John Dramani Mahama over his ‘I’m not going to be a clearing agent president’ comment.

Speaking at the 2023 Ghana Bar Association Annual Conference in Cape Coast on Monday, September 11, 2023, the president rejected the assertion that he clears his appointees accused of corruption without due process.

He added that the efforts of his government to fight corruption are unmatched in the history of the Republic of Ghana since independence.

“Every single alleged act of corruption levelled against any of my appointees has been investigated by independent bodies such as CHRAJ (Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice) and CID. It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing or of engaging in acts of corruption – that is the job of courts and the law enforcement agencies.

“My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant enquires and action including, if necessary, the suspending of the affected official pending the conclusion of the investigation. That is exactly what has been done since I assumed office on 7th January 2017,” he said.

Akufo-Addo went on to list corruption allegations in his government that he properly dealt with “from the allegations against the (former) Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko… to that against the former CEO of BOOST, Honourable Alfred Obeng; to those against the then two deputy chief of staffs at the Office of the President, Honourable Francis Asenso Boakye and Honourable and Honourable Samuel Adu Jinapor; to the conflict of interest allegations against the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta; to the claims of extortion against the then trade and industry minister designate Alan Kyerematen”.

The president insisted that all his appointees, who were accused of engaging in acts of corruption were cleared by independent state institutions and not him.

“They have been investigated and, in most cases, cleared by the authorised institution of the state and not President Akufo-Addo.”

What Mahama said:

Former President John Dramani Mahama assured that he will take a strong stance against corruption when he returns to power after the 2024 general elections.

Mahama in a virtual address to National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawyers at an event (September 2, 2023) stressed that he will not behave like the current president is doing in the fight against corruption.

He stressed that there was the need to restore confidence in two main arms of government, the judiciary and the executive.

“We have our work cut out for us when it comes to the executive, we must make sure that we restore the trust of our people in the executive. And that people are not going to come into office and monies found under their beds.

“And at least, I can guarantee and assure the nation that I am not going to be a clearing agent president and that if people are accused of corruption, we will allow the constitutional bodies which are mandated to deal with those issues to go ahead and carry out their work and carry out those investigations. That, I can give a firm assurance about,” he added.

“Clearing agent” is a terminology that has been used in political circles to describe president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s perceived exoneration of appointees accused of corruption in the past.

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