Corruption is a major bane of development in Ghana as resources meant for improving the welfare of the citizenry are diverted for personal use by a few corrupt elements in positions of authority.
Every year, the auditor-general documents hundreds of cases of financial impropriety and sheer stealing of public funds that deprive the country of hundreds of millions of dollars in scarce revenue.
While the corrupt elements in the country are unrelenting in their bid to steal or misappropriate public funds, some patriotic Ghanaians have made it their business to make life uncomfortable for them.
YEN, today, brings you a list, in no particular order, of 10 Ghanaians who are passionately fighting corruption:
1. Anas Aremeyaw Anas
He is an investigative journalist and the founder of Tiger Eye PI, a private investigative firm. He has put his life on the line to expose monumental corruption in several key government institutions, including the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
His latest investigative work captured about 180 workers in Ghana's judiciary, including judges, on video receiving bribes for favourable rulings.
2. Manasseh Azure Awuni
He is an investigative journalist with Accra-based Joy FM. His investigations into GYEEDA and SADA exposed massive corruption in the programmes that saved the country hundreds of millions of dollars. A man of integrity, Mr Awuni rejected a luxurious car and a house in a posh estate which was offered to him in exchange for killing the GYEEDA story. His latest investigative piece revealed that President John Mahama had received a Ford Expedition vehicle from a Burkina Faso businessman who later won two government contracts.
3. Dr Esi Ansah
She is a lecturer at Ashesi University and a member of the Citizen Ghana Movement. She is one of the foremost anti-corruption voices in Ghana, adopting social media in her activism. Dr Ansah has delivered several lectures in which she emphasised the threat that corruption poses to national development. She has also participated in several demonstrations against corruption and maladministration.
4. Nana Akwasi Awuah
He is the convener and a principal member of the legal team of pressure group Citizen Ghana Movement. His organisation fights corruption and promotes good governance. The movement recently won a case in which an Accra High Court ordered the government to “unconditionally’ make the contract documents relating to the GHc3.6 million Smartty’s bus branding contract public.
Mr Awuah's co-lawyer in the case, Kofi Bentil, described the ruling as “a very erudite far-reaching judgment” which establishes “legal rules and principles that effectively constitute the right to information law”.
5. Elizabeth Ohene
The journalist and former minister of state to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports is an unrelenting anti-corruption activist. She has the uncanny ability to tackle tough issues that others shy away from. She has been clear in columns for the Daily Graphic and the BBC that there is no difference between corruption and stealing. She has also served as resource person at several anti-corruption forums in the country.
6. Vitus Azeem
He is the executive director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII). His entire professional life is about fighting corruption. He is popular in the media as he provides informed opinions and analyses on corruption-related issues in the country. His organisation works hard to demand accountability and transparency from the government.
7. Ace Ankomah
He is the managing partner at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah and a member of pressure group Occupy Ghana. A die-hard anti-corruption fighter, he backs his words with action by going to court to extract information that lends impetus to efforts to promote public transparency and accountability.
He, under the umbrella of Occupy Ghana, has also, at times, sought to impose legal costs on public officials whose actions (or inaction) cause the country to lose crucial revenue.
The pressure group has sued the attorney-general and the auditor-general for failing to surcharge public officials who are said to have misappropriated public money to the tune of GHc40 billion.
8. Bright Simons
He is the founder of technology firm mPedigree Network whose leisure time is spent conducting value for money audits of huge government deals in strategic sectors of the economy. He has published many research findings and analyses on crucial government transactions and investments, especially in the power sector. His analyses are often critical resources that aid Ghanaian journalists to better scrutinise the government and hold public officials accountable.
9. Martin Amidu
The former attorney-general has won several cases in which he sued the government over wrongly-paid judgement debt, saving the country millions of dollars in the process. The Waterville and Isofoton cases are specific cases.
10. Mohammed Amin Adams
He is the executive director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP). His organisation has been at the forefront scrutinising the government's deals in the energy sector and providing value for money analyses. It has also provided analysis of energy policy, training, advisory services and policy advocacy for the efficient and transparent management of Ghana's energy resources.
What do you make of what these anti-corruption crusaders are doing? Share your views with us in the comments section and feel free to share this article with your friends. You can also send your reactions, pictures, and videos to us on Facebook and on Twitter.