Pleading After Double Remuneration

Some political improprieties are too ugly and prominent to let go because they touch on the integrity of democracy. The double pay episode remains unrivalled in terms of its magnitude on the integrity scale and should not under any circumstances be swept under the carpet because the culprits belong to a special establishment in the political system.

As mentioned in an earlier commentary, what aggravates the situation is the fact that it involves persons who legislate on behalf of the people of this country; honourable personalities who are so special they enjoy certain privileges – those they represent do not.

If there are morality blunders which can be forgiven, double pay impropriety cannot be one of them, especially, when it is established beyond doubt that the beneficiaries were not oblivious to the unusual pay packets which they attracted.

We have heard about open and concealed sessions of begging the President to order a discontinuation of the case which is being handled by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and wish to express opprobrium about the efforts.

Besides being discriminatory, we would be creating an unacceptable precedence which is not good for the respectable political system we are building in the country. When a case of criminality is established against a certain class of citizens, this must be quashed. Not so, however, when the suspects or culprits are ordinary persons whose details have no place in the register of the influential in society.

We are constrained to condemn those who have embarked on this expedition of seeking a presidential intervention in a matter which is purely criminal in nature. These persons hardly have a thought about the integrity of governance vis a vis such moral shortcomings such as knowingly collecting double remuneration. There is a case of somebody who upon realizing that he had been credited with a double pay packet, returned same. The difference between this lone person and others is that he is morally upright but his colleagues are not.

The law must not only be working but be seen to be doing so regardless of whose ox is gored. That is the way to build a country. A country where the rule of law is trampled upon for the convenience of a special class of people is light years away from being considered part of the comity of the civilized.

The President and others should allow the law to work by ignoring those who had challenged the authenticity of the story when it was broken in the first instance by this newspaper. After all, the CID of the Ghana Police Service are deep in the case so to ask them to stand down on it is to send to them a bad message that the political class regardless of whether it belongs to the ruling government or the opposition, can always get away with such infractions.