General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has asked the President, Nana Akufo-Addo to sack the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), ACP K.K. Amoah (rtd), if indeed he (Nana Addo) is sincere about his commitment to fight corruption.
To Mr Asiedu Nketia, the current EOCO Boss is not fit to occupy that high office because he is not working in the interest of the country. He rather would Mr Fred Dzeny is made the EOCO head since he (Asiedu) believes Dzeny is far better qualified to hold that position.
EOCO, last week, suspended its Eastern Regional Director, Fred Dzeny, for making an anti-graft comment. He is reported to have asked government to have the political will to prosecute their own when mentioned for corruption before prosecuting others.
“The ruling government should be ready first and foremost to prosecute their own when the slightest incident of corruption is raised against the ruling government then they can also get the guts to prosecute the opposition.”
“When you look at the corruption cases in Ghana, it is not just politicians who are corrupt, the public servants, civil servants they are all corrupt. When you look at it, it is the Chief Directors who prepare contract documents and other things so if we are blaming the Politicians, it is not right, it is the public servants generally,” Mr. Dzeny said at a forum themed ‘Youth in the fight against corruption’.
His remarks appeared to have not gone down well with his superiors at the head office. ACP Amoah subsequently signed a statement saying Dzeny's conduct is “against the ethical and professional standards of the Office. He has therefore been suspended and the matter referred to the appropriate unit for investigation.”
The suspension courted public anger with some civil society groups describing it as a dent on the image of a government that came into office with the promise to fight corruption head-on.
The Ghana Centre for Democratic Governance (CDD-Ghana) and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) described the action against the Mr. Dzeny as bad for good governance.
Both the Convention People's Party (CPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also waded into the fray by issuing separate statements saying they find absurd that an organisation whose mandate is to fight corruption in public life, would be offended by frank commentary on the subject by its senior officers.
Failure To Fire Means Endorsement
Speaking to the issue in an interview on Okay FM's "Ade Akye Abia" Programme, the NDC General Secretary strongly held the view that ACP K.K. Amoah's continuous stay in office is an act of endorsing corruption.
"....Mr. Fred Dzeny, per his utterances is ready to fight corruption and should not be harassed. This government's fight against corruption should not be mere talk but must be seen to be done.
"Failure by the president to fire K.K Amoah will signify his lack of will to fight corruption," he added.
Mr Asiedu Nketia said the current head at EOCO has hit the path of bad leadership characterized by corruption, considering his decision to suspend his Eastern Regional Director for making the supposed anti-graft comment.
"Suspending a whole regional director for being frank and speaking about corruption is uncalled for. This shows how the Akufo-Addo government and all other institutions glorify corruption....The NPP government hates the truth and would always want to make life unbearable for truthful people.
“Mr Fred Dzeny should be the overall boss because he is the only one who has proven he can speak the truth about corruption,” he added.
In a related development, reports indicate the EOCO Executive Director has been asked by the presidency to immediately reinstate the suspended Fred Dzeny.
Sources at the Jubilee House who confirmed this to the media say the presidency is unhappy with the EOCO Boss’ action, and considers it reckless.
What EOCO earlier said on the issue
PRESS RELEASE – PROSECUTE YOUR CORRUPT OFFICIALS FIRST-EOCO TO GOVERNMENT
The attention of the Headquarters of Economic and Organised Crime Office has been drawn to a publication in the Ghanaweb caption – “prosecute your corrupt officials first-EOCO to government”
EOCO as an institution dissociates itself from the said publication. The statement made by the Eastern Regional Director, Fred Dzeny is an expression of his personal view and has nothing to do with the Office.
The Office considers his conduct as against the ethical and professional standards of the Office. He has therefore been suspended and the matter referred to the appropriate unit for investigation.