The recent Auditor General’s report on Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which revealed how lapses in the management of public finances and resources led to a loss of GH¢1,080,913,824, has yet again raised serious moral questions in the country.
Several institutions have been cited in the report for financial malfeasance and violating the financial management act, but the one that is of concern to many Ghanaians, was the issue of the Judges, who were sold cars without passing through the appropriate channel.
According to the audit report of 2021, paragraph 739 states that “our examination of records of the Transport Unit for 2021 revealed that a total of 19 official vehicles were auctioned by the Service for GH¢ 1,023,507.96, without approval from the Minister of Finance”.
The judges on the list include recently retired Supreme Court Judges Yaw Appau and Julius Ansah as having acquired state-owned vehicles contrary to the provisions of this law.
Lamentably, this report is coming at a time, when Ghanaians are witnessing the worst times, as far as management of the economy is concerned.
As a newspaper, we are disappointed in the behavior of the Judges, who should have known better, to ensure that, all the I’s are dotted and T’s crossed before they go ahead to purchase those vehicles.
Although, the practice did not start in 2021 and is likely not to end now, despite the outright condemnation by Ghanaians, we believe our Judges, who are the moral compass of this country, should set good examples.
We are, on this basis urging the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to do due diligence and probe the matter further to avoid a repetition, as it does not auger well for the country.
Investors should have confidence in the judicial system, and they can only do that when they know the judiciary is above reproach.
In the considered opinion of this newspaper, no one or institution should be allowed to shortchange the nation in such a brazen manner.
We think beyond this audit which of course is the first step, PAC must be courageous enough to take the next and inevitable step by ensuring that all those found culpable in this unfortunate incident to face the full wrath of the law.
The tendency for everyone to think they can shortchange the country, we believe, brings to the fore a crisis of sorts with our moral code as a society.