Ghana’s anti-corruption law too narrow – Emile Short

Emile Short

Former Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Dr. Francis Emile Short says Ghana’s laws on corruption must be amended to make the fight against the canker less difficult.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCC) and the African Convention in Preventing and Combating Corruption- both of which Ghana is a signatory to- generally define corruption as “the misuse of a public or private position for direct or indirect personal gain”.

However, Ghana’s law on corruption, according to Justice Short only limits corruption to bribery.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Monday, December 15, 2014, the former CHRAJ Commissioner said the law needs a review in order to expand the definition of corruption to include other areas.

“The definition of corruption in our law is very narrow. It’s restricted to bribery…whereas the broad definitions are found in these conventions,” said Justice Short, who is also a member of the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACAP).

NACAP is the blueprint developed for fighting corruption in Ghana. It aims among many others, to make corruption ‘a high-risk low-gain activity’ in the country between 2012 and 2021.

Justice Short said Ghana should “domesticate those conventions” to serve as guidelines in the country’s anti-corruption fight.

“We have to pass domestic legislation to incorporate those conventions into our domestic laws,” he recommended.

He expressed confidence that NACAP, if properly implemented, can significantly lead to a reduction in corruption, which has reached a distressing point in the country.

“I believe that if it is implemented rigorously and fully it will make a significant impact on corruption in this country,” he told Show host Kojo Yankson.

Anti-corruption campaigner, Linda Ofori Kwafo, who also featured on the Show, has challenged government to show more commitment to fighting the corruption by investing in public awareness campaigns, particularly among the youth.

“If NACAP is supposed to work then we should be able to address the issue of resources…We need to invest in youth activities to be able to break the chain of corruption,” the Executive Secretary of Ghana National Anti-Corruption Coalition (GNACC) stated.

She stressed the need to make NACAP work because, “the laws have failed us”.

In another development, the Member of Parliament for Effutu constituency in the Central Region, Alexander Afenyo-Markin says the establishment of NACAP is a waste of public funds since there exist other state agencies such CHRAJ, Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIC) of the Bank of Ghana.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin holds a strong view that the government should rather resource those institutions and streamline their activities to achieve the desired the results.

“There are institutions that are already doing same [so] what we need is to financially resource them… Most of the things stated in NACAP are already in the law”.

source :