Professor E. Gyimah-Boadi, a co-founder and former executive director of CDD-Ghana, claims that the alleged corruption-related offences by Labianca Company Limited pose a variety of unsettling issues regarding the country’s governance.
Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, a member of the Council of State and the owner of Labianca Company, was charged by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) with abusing her power to influence the Ghana Revenue Authority’s Customs Division and reduce her company’s tax obligations.
Since then, the Special Prosecutor has recovered GH 1 million from Labianca.
The President, according to Professor Gyimah-Boadi, created a conflict of interest for Ms. Eunice Asomah-Hinneh by appointing her to the board of a public agency.
“Secondly, is it appropriate for the President to appoint a member of the Council of State to a state agency board? Was there an objectively compelling public interest-related reason for the President to make such an appointment?”
Whether the Council of State oversaw her appointment was a matter of debate for him.
“And if the answer is yes, doesn’t the Council of State’s approval of the appointment of one of its members to a state agency board position smack of institutional self-dealing on the part of the Council of State?”
He said it is obvious that the entire episode speaks specifically to the entrenchment of incumbent leaders and political elite capture of Ghana “and generally, to the alarming decline in governance standards in our 4th Republic.”
He said that the incident ought to serve as a wake-up call on the urgent need for a “ethics czar at the Presidency, Executive Branch, Council of State, and other important decision-making and public resource allocation agencies and institutions.”