POLICE MUST UTILISE WHISTLE-BLOWERS’ ACT EFFECTIVELY

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has called on the Ghana Police Service (GPS) to effectively utilise the Whistle-blowers’ Act to ensure rule of law, promote good public ethics and preserve public interest in national affairs.

Whistleblowing is the act of disclosing information about another person’s impropriety to one or more persons or institutions specified by the Whistleblowers’ Act to fight corruption.

However, the Act has not been effectively utilised to achieve its objective of empowering citizens to expose corruption and wrongdoing in both public and private sector institutions, hence the persistence of corruption and unlawful acts in the country over the years.

Mr Ebenezer Kwesi Dadzie, Cape Coast Metropolitan Director of the NCCE who made the call said whistleblowing was an important tool in the fight against corruption and other forms of unlawful conduct that negatively affected national development.

He was addressing members of the Ghana Beauticians Association (GABA) in the Cape Coast Metropolis at a sensitisation workshop on the topic “the whistleblowers Act and the mandate of the Ghana Police Service in fighting corruption” in Cape Coast on Wednesday.

The programme is aimed at mobilising support from identifiable groups such as GABA, PWDs, and artisans among others by empowering them to report any impropriety, malpractices, and acts of corruption in their localities.

It forms part of a nationwide sensitisation being undertaken by the NCCE with support from the European Union on Accountability, Rule of law and Anti-Corruption (ARAP) to promote good governance and compliance with the rule of law.

Mr. Dadzie noted with concern that many Ghanaians were tight-lipped over corruption or other illegal activities happening in their neighbourhood due to fear of victimisation .

He, therefore, encouraged the public to be bold and report improprieties against public officials and organisations to the appropriate authorities for investigations adding that, whistleblowers were protected by law.

He said a whistleblower was protected from civil or criminal proceedings in respect of a disclosure unless it was proved that the whistleblower knew that the information contained in the disclosure was false and made with malicious intent.

He mentioned the Police, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), traditional authorities, offices of Assembly Members, District Chief Executives among others as some of the places they could report acts of corruption.

Madam Philomena Afenyi Mensah, Secretary of the Association commended the NCCE for acknowledging them as stakeholders in the fight against corruption and vowed to join the crusade against corruption in their localities.

She, however, expressed worry about the dwindling public confidence and co-operation with the Police and related stakeholders saying, the phenomenon posed a great danger to the general security of the nation.

She demanded a commitment from the Police to protect the identity of whistle-blowers in its quest to get the co-operation of the public as part of efforts to eliminate corruption in the country. The participants took turns to ask a series of questions pertaining to corruption and the Whistle-Blowers Act and called for adequate state protection for anyone who would dare give out crucial information.

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