A Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Coast, Kwadwo Addo Tuffour, has charged Ghanaians to question the unexplained wealth of public officials.
The Lecturer said although legally, one had the right to create wealth, citizens should question the source of wealth of public servants whose wealth did not match their official remuneration.
Mr Tuffour was speaking at a Zoom forum organised by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to commemorate its 30th-anniversary celebration.
The forum sought to explore how anti-graft institutions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the public can make public servants and institutions more accountable.
Mr Tuffour stated that questioning the suspicious wealth of public officials was one of the ways in which the public could hold public officials and institutions accountable as stipulated by the 1992 Constitution, saying that the Constitution also mandates public institutions to render accountability to the citizens. He however lamented that, most of these duty bearers have refused to comply with the constitutional requirement.
He said in such situations, it behoved on the public to demand accountability if the institutions were not forthcoming.
The Principal of Enchi College of Education, Mr Philip Ntaah, also said that all activities of public institutions must be monitored and compared to set standards.
He suggested that CSOs should report on findings made on the institutions to a wider audience, adding that “When they get to know that the public is going to scrutinise their work, they will sit up.”
He however, noted that the above measures would not materialise if the barriers to demanding accountability were not removed.
He stated that one of the factors that prevented CSOs and the public from demanding accountability was changes in the law, and called for the involvement of CSOs in the making of regulatory laws of public institutions to enable them to monitor the compliance level of those institutions.
He called on the government to resource functional CSOs to enhance their monitoring role and advised politicians to desist from harassing CSOs.
Hinged on the theme: “CHRAJ at 30: Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and Ensuring Transparency and Accountable Public Service Delivery”, the forum also sought to strengthen stakeholder partnership at various levels and boost local participation in the operations of the Commission.