Saturday, 11 July

Nepotism: "I can’t judge Akufo-Addo; media, CSOs must do so" – Short

Justice Emile Short

A former Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Mr Emile Short, has said he cannot judge whether or not President Nana Akufo-Addo is nepotistic.

Asked by Kwabena Bobie Ansah in a one-on-one interview on ‘The Citizen’ show at his Regimanuel residence in Accra on Tuesday, 10 September 2019 about what he made of the President’s appointment of relatives such as Mr Ken Ofori-Atta(Finance Minister), Nana Asante Bediatuo (Executive Secretary to the President), Mr Samuel Atta Akyea (Minister of Works and Housing), and his daughter, Gyankroma Akufo-Addo (Member of the Board of the Creative Arts Council) into public office, Mr Short, who chaired the three-member commission of inquiry that investigated the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-poll gun violence over six months ago, said: “Whether those appointments amount to nepotism is for you [Kwabena Bobie Ansah] to decide, it’s for civil society to decide, it’s not for me, Emile Short, sitting here to decide that that amounts to nepotism and an act of corruption”.

“I am not going to go into that area, I’m not going to be involved in passing judgment on a particular appointment made by this government or even the previous government”, Mr Short insisted.

“You see”, he noted: “I’m trying to explain to you that because of my previous position, there are certain areas that I do not want to venture into. It is inappropriate for me to pass judgement in certain areas and I think I would rather leave that to people like you, the media, civil society organisations, [and] political scientists, to determine. I may have a personal opinion but I wouldn’t express that in public [because of my previous position]”.

According to him, “If I were in office, and a concrete case was brought to me to decide, I’d have no alternative but to decide the case, and to decide whether it amounts to nepotism, corruption or not. But as I sit here, I’m a private individual, but, at the same time, I’m a former Commissioner of CHRAJ and I exercise a certain amount of discretion in areas that I venture into. So, while I might express an opinion in certain areas, there are other areas in which I would rather leave to other commentators to take on rather than me expressing an opinion”.

Mr Short’s comments came hours after the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) described Nana Akufo-Addo as “the most corrupt and most nepotistic President” in Ghana’s history.

President Akufo-Addo, the party said, “must accept full responsibility for the unenviable accolade as the most corrupt President in Ghana’s history, which hangs around his neck and find out why it is so”, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia told journalists on Tuesday, 10 September 2019.

“It has been established beyond all reasonable doubt that corruption is a way of life for the President and his government”, the party asserted.

Mr Nketia said President Akufo-Addo “demonstrated clearly” during his speech at the Bar Conference in the Western Region on Monday, 9 September 2019, that “he was not in touch with the realities of the time: that he heads the most corrupt government in the history of Ghana”.

“Rather than confront this resounding verdict of well-meaning Ghanaians, he opted for the path of delusion and denial. In summary, President Akufo-Addo lowered the bar for the fight against corruption at the Bar Conference”.