The District Directorate organized a community durbar in response to the national directive on accountability and environmental governance on 25th September, 2019.
The main speakers of the durbar were the District director of NCCE in the person of Mr. Abdul-Rahaman Osman, District Director of CHRAJ in the person of Mr. Yakubu Omar Yaarun.
In his address, the District Director, Mr. Abdul-Rahaman Osman said the public accountability and environmental governance issues are very serious for the growth and development of any nation. The District Director charged the people to report corrupt practices among public officials in their localities. He added that the whistleblower Act will provide cover to anybody that reports this illegality. He also encouraged the community to collectively put up a fight against the illegal cutting of the rosewoods in the Daffiama Bussie Issa District of the Upper West Region. The accountability and environmental governance is a national issue, hence the European Union (EU) saw the need to support the public education drive. The District Director also entreated the citizenry to use the complaint committee of the District Assembly and other channels of reporting corruption.
Mr. Yakubu Omar Yaarun defined corruption as an abuse of public office for private gain. He outlined the following examples of corruption: extortion, bribery, embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, diversion of public funds, conflicts of interest, etc. On the effects of corruption, he said that corruption makes the individual rich but make the entire society very poor. He added that the manifestations of corruption are bad roads are constructed, shortage of important medicine. He said cumulatively the major effects of corruption is that it leads to loss of lives as a result of corrupt practices.
On efforts to fight corruption, he said they are various establishment aimed at fighting corruption which include CHRAJ, Anthony General Office, The Ghana Police Service, Office of Organized Crime (EOCO) and now the Special Prosecutor Office. The legislation also includes the right to information and the whistleblower acts have been passed to enable us to fight corruption.
With regards to the whistleblower ACT (Act 720 2006), he said one of the ways we can deal with corruption is the use of whistleblower act (Act 720 2006) An act to provide for the manner in which public information may in public interest disclose information that relates to unlawful or other illegal conduct or corrupt practices, to provide for the protection against victimization of persons who make disclosers, to provide for funds to reward individuals who make disclosures, etc.
Also, any person may make a disclosure of information where that person has reasonable cause to believe that the information tends to show that:
Economic crime has been committed, is about to be committed or is likely to be committed
Or another person has not complied with the law or is in the process of breaking the law or likely to break the law
A miscarriage of justice has occurred or is likely to have occurred
In public institution, there has waste, mismanagement, and misappropriation of public resources
Environmental degradation etc
The people/institutions disclosure of impropriety can be made to:
The Ghana Police Service
The Attorney general
The Auditor general
He emphases that the whistleblower is assured of security protection, as much the information provided is held in confidence that he should blow the whistle and go on air at the same time. Any persons who do that will lose all the privileges associated with whistleblowing when he/she disclose the information to unauthorized persons after whistleblowing.
Mr. Yakubu Omar Yaarun added that whistleblowing can be done through the following means: It can be done verbally, written, email, etc. to any of the institutions mentioned above.
Author: Tahiru Lukman
Tel: 0209154057 / 0551018778
Location: Wa- UW/R