RECOVERING LOOTED STATE FUNDS

That corruption is the bane of the development of the country is not in doubt.

Corruption and abuse of office has become so pervasive that a great number of Ghanaians assume it is our way of life.

It has almost become a canker that has eaten deep into the moral fibre of the country to the extent that at every level of endeavour, one can smell corruption.

This phenomenon is clear in the annual Auditor General’s report that indicts public and civil servants as well as officials of Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies for the wanton dissipation of public funds.

Indeed, it has become a yearly ritual for the country to listen in awe to the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament where startling revelations are made about the misuse of public funds by public officials.

As a matter of fact, the yearly appearance of public officials before the PAC to answer questions about the misuse of public funds has attracted condemnation from the public, who think that exercise does not go far to deter others from engaging in those negative acts.

Many people have called for the persecution and retrieval of such funds, but the Auditor-General who makes the findings appears powerless in initiating moves to retrieve the funds.

So for a long period, officials found to have negligently misused funds are left off the hook, with a slap on the wrist to go and sin no more.

Public outcry over sanctions have not yielded any positive results but thankfully, the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling on Wednesday ordered the Auditor General (AG) to surcharge persons found to have misappropriated state funds.

This is what we all have been asking for.  The Auditor General and the Attorney General have no excuse from now onwards to ensure anyone who dips his or her hands into the national coffers, does not go scot-free.

We are excited about the decision and commend OccupyGhana, for taking the matter up and getting the Supreme Court to make the profound pronouncement.

We serve notice that we shall be the watchdog to monitor how public officers are sanctioned after they have been found to have looted public funds from now onward.

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