Director of Anti-Corruption at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Charles Ayandoo has reiterated calls for a review of Ghana’s asset declaration regime as the country strives to eliminate corruption especially in the public sector.
According to him, even though Ghana has signed unto African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) which requires the country to criminalise illicit enrichment, Ghana is yet to do so.
He said one of the ways to deal with this menace is asset declaration, yet Ghana’s asset declaration regime is deficient in many aspects and therefore requires a reform.
Mr Ayamdoo said this in an interview with Class News’ Joshua Kodjo Mensah on the sidelines of a launch of the report on the AUCPCC organised by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII).
He said: “Article 286 of the constitution requires a certain category of public officers to declare assets and liabilities before the person assumes public office every four years and at the end of the term of office.
“The constitution then say if a public officer is found in possession of some asserts that the public officer should have declared but which he did not declare shall be presumed to have been illegally acquired.
“But with the current regime we can’t verify what people declare and that is the challenge in the law and by the constitution, it is CHRAJ and the court that have access to assets declared, which is a deficiency in our law.
“We had a similar law from 1993 to 1998 where assets declared were published. Even today, when you go to those who declared between 1993-1998 you can still find them at the publishers because the law required that you publish in the gazette asserts declared, and it was being done, then suddenly, we changed to this law.
“So, we have been finding out what occasioned the change but that is not yet answered. So these are the challenges among many. The assets declared is not public, you cannot access it, you cannot verify, so we need to do some kind of reforms in the regime to make it robust, otherwise, dealing with illegal acquisition of wealth may be difficult in future to prove.”