Corruption Is Deeply Part Of The Ghanaian Society

According to Kissi Agyebeng, the Special Prosecutor of Ghana, state capture, fraud, and corruption are ingrained in Ghanaian society like rituals.

The Special Prosecutor referred to the aforementioned practices as “tri-malady” and stated that they manifest themselves in a variety of ways, preventing the advancement of the state and wasting its resources.

Mr Kissi Agyebeng expressed this during ICC FraudNet’s 37th International Conference and Meeting held in Accra on Friday, April 28, where he was the guest speaker.

The conference was under the theme; ‘State Capture and Corruption’.

“The issues of state capture, corruption, and fraud are a collective pandemic in our part of the world. This tri-malady has every intention of staying with us unless we act. In their various manifestations, they inhibit our progress and dissipate our resources. We experience their debilitating effects all around us in their full force and they are ingrained in our society much like rituals,” Kissi Agyebeng noted.

He saw that state institutions are being killed as extremities of people and existing regulations adding that the general set of laws is being debilitated for private gains.

According to the Special Prosecutor, it will be difficult for anyone to accurately quantify the financial costs of state capture, corruption, and fraud.

The currency is the misuse of entrusted power for personal gain. Never before has misrepresentation of facts and events for financial gain been so appealing.

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On the other hand, it appears that a race is on for excessive control of public decision-making and state institutions. State establishments are being neutralized as appendages of individuals and existing regulations and the general set of laws are being debilitated for private gains.

“To further sink ourselves in our ill-progress, we are flighting away and secreting our illicitly gorged up bounties in other jurisdictions to avoid detection and to evade recovery. And it seems to me that no one can put an actual price tag on the attendant social and economic cost of state capture, corruption, and fraud,” he stressed.

Listing the different areas where corruption for the most part happens, he referenced unlawful mining where the nation is perplexed with the wanton obliteration of protected forests.

“These are endemic in several sectors of the economy. The usual suspect is the extractive industry. Offshore, we are confronted with the scourge of oil bunkering. On land, we are bedevilled with wanton destruction of protected forests and real property and the mind-numbing pollution of our water bodies – mostly springing from illegal mining. Illegal capital flight and breaches of public procurement rules are rampant,” he said.

A standard operating procedure for locating, seizing, and managing assets has been developed by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), the Ghana Police Service, the Financial Intelligence Centre, and the Economic and Organized Crime Office.

The asset recovery and management regime has the potential to reduce costs, including the disposition of assets with the consent of the suspect or by court order and the deposit of the proceeds in an interest-bearing recovery account. The purpose of this is to lessen the state’s potential liability in the event that assets lose value over time.

“There is much promise in Ghana in tackling these problems. We have a wonderful opportunity here to change the narrative and to get things effectively and efficiently working. However, no matter how well-intended and well-designed these agencies live up to their billing, they would not achieve much on their own in-country without the necessary cooperation from our foreign partners. No matter how one characterizes state capture, corruption, fraud and asset recovery, one has to recognize that they are stubbornly transboundary and cross-border”, Kissi Agyebeng noted.

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