Officials of the Auditor General’s Department have revealed that some members of Parliament have been pleading on behalf of corrupt state officials who are being investigated by the department. According to a representative of the department, Vincent Odikro Nyame, these actions by some MPs are frustrating their efforts to fight corruption in the public sector.
His comments follow the department’s reservations about the power of the proposed office of the Special Prosecutor to recover looted state funds. Mr. Odikro Nyame made the remarks at a forum organized by Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee on the Special Prosecutor Bill.
He noted that when malfeasance is suspected, auditees are given up to three months, in the name of fairness, to answer to queries.
“Until we have received the responses from these auditees, we can’t say what we have alleged. They have to explain why they did whatever and when we are satisfied, then we proceed from there.”
“…Unfortunately, I would have to say this here, there are times some honorable members come to our offices to come and plead on behalf of some [of the queried auditees]… our officers on the field also do it and when it comes before the committee, then you will notice that it was signed just two or three days [to the Public Accounts Sitting (PAC) summons],” Mr. Odikro Nyame added.
He noted that some questionable documents that come before them as certificates “were signed a week, two weeks, sometimes three days, before the sittings.”
Mr. Odikro Nyame assured that his outfit was doing its best, but “unfortunately, everybody, including our honorable members, try to assist them to stifle what we are doing… We pray that the House will do a little more to assist us if they stay out of this and let these gentlemen face it as it is.”