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Suspended EOCO boss reinstated

EOCO

The Eastern Regional Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Office who was suspended for asking the government to prosecute corrupt officials has been reinstated.

At a public forum on the theme ‘Youth in the fight against corruption,’ Fred Dzeny noted that the government of the day must be bold to prosecute its appointees in order for the fight against corruption to be effective.

He was, however, suspended by his superiors who described his comments as unethical.

The suspension courted public anger, most of whom demanded that the EOCO boss, ACP K.K Amoah, be relieved of his position.

News coming in states that the Presidency has ordered the reinstatement of Mr.Dzeny.

EOCO disassociates itself from comment

In a statement signed by the EOCO Executive Director ACP K.K Amoah, the anti-corruption agency distanced itself from the words of the Eastern Regional Director.

“EOCO as an institution dissociates itself from the said publication. The statement made by the Eastern Regional Director…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,” the statement said.
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.

An opposition party, the Conventions People’s Part, however, called for the Executive Director to be relieved of his position.

The party said it finds it 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. CPP Director of Communications, Abdul Rauf Kadiri, told Joy FM’s Top Story that the action against Mr Dzeny is appalling.

“We do not think that those comments that [Mr Dzeny] made should warrant such disciplinary action,” he said.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in a statement Tuesday described Mr. Dzeny’s suspension as “yet another manifestation that the New Patriotic Party government, led by President Akufo-Addo, has no intention of curbing corruption or punishing its officials engaged in same. ”

The leading opposition party further demanded the “immediate re-instatement of Mr.Dzeny and a discontinuation of any purported disciplinary action against him…”

Below is the NDC statement signed by General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia:

For immediate release

06/11/2018

NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS STATEMENT ON VICTIMIZATION OF EASTERN REGIONAL EOCO DIRECTOR

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has learnt with total shock, the suspension of the Eastern Regional Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Mr. Fred Dzeny, for urging government to prosecute corrupt officials.

Mr. Dzeny’s suspension is yet another manifestation that the New Patriotic Party government, led by President Akufo-Addo, has no intention of curbing corruption or punishing its officials engaged in same.

We are outraged that Mr. Dzeny’s innocuous comments about the need for commitment and colour-blindness in the fight against corruption, should lead to such open and brazen victimization by a government that has the responsibility to rid our nation of the canker.

The draconian punishment meted out to the gentleman is further indication of the growing but misplaced sense of invincibility and the impunity of the Akufo-Addo government.

Through this singular action, it has become clear that President Akufo-Addo’s lofty rhetoric about fighting corruption is only a ruse to witch-hunt political opponents and not a reflection of a sincere desire to address the problem frontally.

Otherwise, we are at a complete loss as to how a call for the prosecution of corrupt officials irrespective of their political affiliation, should warrant the suspension of the Eastern Regional Director of a key anti-corruption agency like EOCO, whose mandate it is to unearth corruption.

Mr. Dzeny’s victimization, is not only another setback to the anti-corruption agenda,it also reflects panic and a jittery disposition on the part of a President who has supervised a government apparatus that churns out corruption scandals at an unprecedented rate. He has since assuming office, robustly defended acts of corruption and wrong doing by his appointees and presided over many cynical and farcical cover-ups to protect them from justice.

The BOST/Movinpiina scandal, the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing scandal, the Metro Mass scandal, the GHS 22 million pre-mix scandal, the Cash for Seats scandal, the $2.25 billion Ken Bond scandal and the recent Ghana Maritime Authority scandal are but a few of the legion of corruption scandals that have broken out in the 22 months of Mr.  Akufo-Addo’s Presidency.

President Akufo-Addo himself has questions to answer for his role in the $ 1 billion AMERI Novation scandal which he gave Executive Approval for and which would have resulted in an $ 800 million rip-off but for the vigilance of Civil Society and the Minority in Parliament. We remain unconvinced by claims that he was misled into giving approval for such a colossal contract.

We demand an immediate re-instatement of Mr.Dzeny and a discontinuation of any purported disciplinary action against him as we believe strongly that he has committed no offence by drawing attention to the need to deal with corruption irrespective of whose ox is gored.

Rather, President Akufo-Addo should order credible investigations into the uncountable number of corruption scandals involving his appointees with the view to bringing offending officials to justice. This must include revelations by Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi that the President and other top government officials can be bribed with large sums of money to award lucrative contracts to potential investors.

We note that while victimizing Mr. Dzeny, the Executive Secretary of EOCO, ACP K.K. Amoah, has gone past retirement at age 65 years. It is this illegality which must be corrected, not the harmless comments of an obviously conscientious Eastern Regional Director.

Signed

Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah

General Secretary

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