We live in a country where people daily flaunt obscene unexplained wealth, with no one questioning. As one drives around in affluent areas, there are mansions springing up everywhere; mansions that are not obviously the results of labour.
How then does the Special Prosecutor probe the estate of a deceased person? Dead men, they say, don’t talk! Who will be there to answer questions in respect of the contents of a deceased person’s Will?
That exercise with national resources will be like wandering in a desert with no guide.
Instead of chasing the source of wealth left behind by dead people why don’t we deal with those who flaunt their obscene, unexplained, untaxed wealth in our faces daily?
Hardworking Ghanaians who struggle to turn the wheels of production and contribute to the economy get criminalised when they default in the payment of their social security contribution payments, whereas those who breach the law continue to swim in wealth, unchecked and untaxed!
Everybody now wants to be a pastor and that is because in the ‘Jesus Industry’ (reference: I. K. Gyasi who first used the term) all that one needs to get rich is a smart disposition of a conman clutching to the Bible.
No tax paid, no social security payments for the hordes of pastors who work under them, no annual renewals of any operating licence and virtually no sweat!
Again, have you ever asked yourself why people abandon their prestigious professions to get into politics? The reason is simple.
In politics, you do not have to wait for years to get your returns on your investments. Unearned money keeps flowing into the account of politicians, from kickbacks and bribes.
We see it daily, but nobody raises questions while that corrupt politician is alive. Those who are caught eventually get away on technicalities.
If the office of the Special Prosecutor is actually desirous of holding public office holders accountable, then it should conduct a nationwide inventory on mansions.
It would discover that almost all the immediate past and present political appointees own not less than two houses at choice areas, such as East Legon, West Lands, North Legon, etc, where salaries aren’t enough to purchase a land.
We live in a country where people see appointments into public office as opportunities to loot the country.
It is time such appointees were made to publicly declare their assets as part of the appointment process and to render an inventory of his or her asset to Ghanaians, for us to judge his or her tenure in office.
It is high time we named and shamed offending past and present office holders while alive for others to know that looting while in office does not pay.
Much as the office of the Attorney General is doing its best to bring culprits to book, that process is too slow to make them accountable, knowing too well that a new government can employ the legal weapon of Nolle Prosequi (N.P) to get sympathetic party functionaries standing trial for using their positions to loot the country, off the hook.
There is the need, therefore, to set up special courts for such cases.
Henceforth, no one should be allowed to die with his or her crimes, for he or she would hear and feel no probe afterwards.
The writer is a practising lawyer