Why no White Paper on the Report of the Sole Judgement Debt Commission?

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Folks, when Justice Apau’s Judgement Debt Commission ended its work and presented its report to the government, we were told that there was a time lapse/lag of 60 days within which the government was expected to issue a White Paper on it.

Our immediate animated reaction to that report, snippets of which focused on the “huhudious” circumstances surrounding the sale of the GNPC’s drill ship, indicated that we were (im)patiently waiting for the government to state its position on the report.

We did so with a clear understanding of issues, particularly the aspect involving the NPP’s Akufo-Addo and how the government would approach the matter to stop tongues from wagging anyhow. And the tongues did wag. Those in the NPP were particularly angry at the turn of events, claiming that their sacred cow (Akufo-Addo) had been improperly treated because he wasn’t given any hearing before being “indicted” by the Commission.

Akufo-Addo’s legal team even threatened to go to court over the matter and that it had sent a request to the government to be given a copy of the Commission’s report for study before deciding how to go about the intended suit. Some of us laughed off that threat as a mere empty rhetoric. Has Nana Bediatuo’s request been met, and what is he doing? Or is he waiting for the government’s White Paper before dashing to court to “clear” Akufo-Addo from blame?

It is past 60 days now but nothing has come from the Mahama-led administration to set the records straight. Why the foot-dragging, Mr. President?

I recall several public appeals made by some people and organizations, urging President Mahama not to accept the Commission’s findings on Akufo-Addo. Those appeals aimed at helping tone down the political tension caused by the Commission’s indictment of Akufo-Addo. Some people even went to the extent of challenging President Mahama to prove his “manliness” by accepting the Commission’s report in its entirety so all culpable officials could be punished to prove that his government could, indeed, fight corruption. And to prove that it can deal with anybody caught in malpractices as revealed by the Commission.

Mr. President, what is the situation now? The 60-day period is over. Why no reaction to Justice Apau’s report? Or should we conclude that it has been set aside to gather dust on the shelf, despite the huge expenditure made on the Commission’s work? What, then, will be the benefit of setting up such a Commission if its report, coming long after the original timeframe given the Commission for the assignment had expired, is not decisively acted on?

We want to know whether President Mahama has the “balls” to respond to the Commission’s work and whether his government will accept or reject the findings. The time to act is long overdue, Mr. President!!

I shall return…

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