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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ghana@50 report out; recommends prosecution

The Government has an option to prosecute some public officials in the previous government for various acts of financial malfeasance during the organisation of the Ghana@50.

Others will be asked to refund monies for services not rendered to state but for which monies were expended.

This was revealed by the Chairman of the Presidential Commission which probed the activities of Ghana@50 Secretariat, Justice Isaac Duose during his presentation of the final report of the commission to the president on Wednesday.

The report follows months of intensive public investigation on the organisation of celebration of Ghana’s fiftieth birthday which saw among others, former Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani and CEO of the Ghana@50 secretariat Dr. Wereko-Brobby appearing publicly to answer questions on how monies were expended on the event.

Even though recommendations were made for some prosecutions, Justice Duose noted the report hinges more on how to improve financial administration in the public sector.

“I have told you that some people may be [prosecuted] but that is the decision of the president and not mine. So I say they may. But the focus and thrust of the exercise is not to prosecute people. The exercise is to find out how things have been done wrong and how we can do them better,” he said.

He did not however give details of the contents of the report.

President J.E.A. Mills in accepting the report congratulated the Duose-led commission for their sense of fairness and professionalism they exhibited during the investigation.

Contrary to accusations that the investigation was to witch hunt past government officials, the president said it was in fulfillment of a constitutional obligation requiring past officials to account for their stewardship.

“The reason why we set up this commission is just in fulfillment of our obligation to ensure that any one who finds himself or herself in public office account to the people for their stewardship. This is no witch hunting, this is no harassment, we are only fulfilling the mandate that we have been given,” President Mills explained

He added the recommendations will seriously be studied and action will be taken without fear or favour.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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