A Scramble by Justice of Ghana Superior Court and Members of Parliament to make their worth known to the Auditor General is ongoing. Since March 2022, the race to declare assets has been happening.
The Fourth Estate reporters, using Ghana's Right to Information (RTI) Law , have asked state institutions questions on the extent their staff compliance with the law.
The Judicial Service was specifically asked in March 2022 to provide a list of all judges who declared their assets. This was what instigated the scramble by the law lords.
It was followed by the hot run in cases of both the judges and the MPs to declare their assets. It appears as an apparent bid to avoid being named and, thus, shamed as defaulters, which fueled the rush to the Auditor General so as to file their assets after so many years of not complying.
For the judiciary, After The Fourth Estate wrote to the Judicial Service seeking clarity on the asset-declaration status of 15 judges, eight judges of the Superior courts rushed to the Auditor General to declare their assets.
After The Fourth Estate was supplied a complete list of compliant justices, The Fourth Estate did a winnowing. It quickly emerged that 8 of the 15 compliant judges had only declared after the inquiry to the Audit Service via an online news platform.
The defaulters who rushed to declare their assets included Judicial Secretary Cynthia Pamela Akotoaa Addo, who rushed to declare her assets on August 30, 2022, 13 days after The Fourth Estate inquiry.
Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, on May 25, 2022, proclaimed all legislators to do the necessary after a letter was written to the Audit Service by The Fourth Estate requesting to be provided with the list of MPs that are compliant with the asset declaration law.
The Constitution requires the declaration to be done before the public officer takes office.
Some insist the assets should be declared secretly. However, the people who kick against the shrouding of asset declaration in secrecy pointed out that asset declaration is a requirement for the public and not private officeholders. Therefore, anybody aspiring to hold public office should be prepared to tell the people what they own.