Stop freeing corrupt elites while plantain thieves serve full jail terms – Amidu

Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor

Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has called on Ghanaian leaders to end the practice of freeing elites who spend short term in jail after being convicted for corrupt practices while individuals jailed for misdemeanours rot in prisons for years.

Mr Amidu wants a regime where there will be tougher punishments for officials found to have engaged in corruption to make the misconduct a high-risk area to reduce graft in the country.

In his opinion, the country’s systems make corruption fester as public officials often find a way to escape punishment through the aid of political figures.

Mr Amidu who attributed corruption in institutions to greed emphasised that authorities “must make the risk for that greed very high to deter people from going there and as long as you don’t do that it will continue”.

Mr Amidu speaking as a guest on an online talk show ‘Time with David’, told the host, David Ampofo that: “It is the political elite who rule the nation, who lower the bar and make corruption a low-risk enterprise and the people can’t do anything about it. Some of them have to join because they must survive”.

The Special Prosecutor was worried that: “In Africa, even when the elites are convicted for corruption they are pardoned in most times. You look at our constitutional history since 1993, almost all those who have been convicted and they are political elite have been pardoned in less than two years and yet when you steal plantain you get five years, 10 years and you serve all your term”.

Mr Amidu noted that political elites make corruption fight difficult, however “it can be fixed, it has been fixed elsewhere and there is no reason Ghana cannot fix it”.

He is advocating good and well-resourced institutions, the appointment of officers who are not politically inclined but professional in their duties and public officers who will not depend on political figures for promotion.


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