Between March 2017 and March 2019, politicians dressed in flowing robes and in kente of kaleidoscope of colours descended on the Jubilee House.
Their mission was to swear oaths of office, which among others, enjoined them to protect and defend the constitution. That constitution required them to declare their assets before taking office.
President Akufo-Addo on July 18, 2017, declared that all his appointees had declared their assets.
Five years on, The Fourth Estate tracked if indeed they lived up to that oath.
In a Right to Information (RTI) request to the Audit service, The Fourth Estate found that only 18 out of the more than 120 ministers complied fully with the constitutional provision in Article 268 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.
- Dominic Nitiwul
Dominic Nitiwul was appointed Minister of Defence in 2017. He declared his assets for the first term on March 20, 2017, and October 6, 2020. After his reappointment in 2021, he fulfilled this constitutional obligation on August 16, 2021.
- Owusu Afriyie Akoto: He is the current Minister of Food & Agriculture.
He declared his assets on January 23, 2017, when he was appointed for the first term.
Dr. Afriyie did his exit declaration of assets in March 26, 2021, three months after Akufo-Addo’s first term ended.
On April 1, 2021, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto declared his assets for the second term as required by the law after he got the nod from parliament to serve as Agriculture Minister.
- Cecilia Abena Dapaah: She is the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources. Ms Dapaah declared her assets on March 15, 2017 when she was first appointed to serve and did her exit declaration on March 2, 2021. On her reappointment in 2021, she fulfilled the requirements of the law on March 12, 2021.
- Ignatius Baffuor Awuah: He is the current Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. He declared his assets on March 14, 2017, and March 15, 2021. When the president appointed him again to serve in the same position in 2021, Mr. Awuah declared his assets on April 27, 2021.
- Alima Mahama: She was appointed to serve as the Minister of Local Government & Rural Development. The one-time Minister declared her assets on March 14, 2017, and March 30, 2021, respectively.
- Alan K. Kyerematen: As Trade and Industry Minister, he declared his assets three times as required by the law. He did his entry declaration on March 14, 2017, and exit on March 31, 2021. On March 31, 2021, he again declared his assets for his second term as a minister.
- Gloria Afua Akuffo: She declared her assets at the beginning of her term as Attorney-General & Minister of Justice on February 21, 2017, and at the end of her tenure on January 5, 2021.
- Anthony Akoto Osei: Another one-term minister, he also declared his assets on March 14, 2017, and at the end of his term on April 28, 2021.
- Otiko Afisa Djaba: She declared her assets on September 14, 2017, and declared again when she resigned as Gender, Children & Social Protection Minister. That declaration was done on May 23, 2018.
- Ibrahim Mohammed Awal: As the Business Development Minister in 2017, he declared his assets on March 14, 2017, and March 15, 2021, two months after the president’s tenure came to an end. On his reappointment to serve in the president’s second term as Tourism Minister, he declared his assets on March 15, 2021.
- Eric Kwakye Darfour: On his appointment as the Eastern Regional minister in 2017, he declared his assets on February 2, 2017, and February 24, 2021, when he exited office.
- Joseph Cudjoe: He declared his assets when he was appointed to serve in government in 2017, on June 15, 2017. He declared again when the president’s first term ended on March 30, 2021. On the same day, March 30, 2021, he made his entry declaration for his reappointment.
- Godfred Yeboah Dame: When he served as the deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice in the first term of President Akufo-Addo, Mr. Dame declared his assets on July 20, 2017. He filed his exit declaration on January 26, 2021. On his elevation to the position of Attorney General in this second term of the president, he declared his assets on May 25, 2021.
- Yaw Osei Adutwum: Having served as the Deputy Education Minister from 2017 to 2021, he declared his assets on June 14,2017, and February 8, 2021.On August 10, 2021, Mr. Adutwum, declared his assets following his appointment as the current minister of Education.
- Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover: He served as the deputy transport minister between 2017 and 2021. He declared his assets as required by law on September 7, 2017 and October 6, 2020.
- Freda Prempeh: As a member of parliament for Tano North Constituency in the Ahafo Region, she declared her assets on March 31, 2017. Upon her appointment as the deputy minister for Works & Housing, August 11, 2017, she declared her assets again. Four months before the 2020 election, on October 8, 2020, she again declared her assets. On her appointment as the deputy minister of Gender, Children & Social Protection, she declared her assets on August 11, 2021.
- Eugene Boakye Antwi: He declared his assets as the Deputy Minister of Works & Housing on September 27, 2017, and on September 28, 2020. On February 12, 2021, he again declared his assets as a member of parliament for Subin Constituency in the Ashanti Region. Interestingly, he also filed his assets and liabilities as an aspiring member of Parliament on June 14, 2017. He filed both in Kumasi and Accra.
18.Elizabeth Agyemang: As the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, she declared her assets on March 9, 2017 and on March 9, 2020 when she was exiting office.
19. Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh
The former Minister of Education first declared his assets on March 1, 2017. Subsequent ones were done on March 31, 2021 and April 1, 2021 as Minister of Energy.
What does the Asset Declaration law say?
By law, ministers are to declare their assets within six months in office and latest six months after the end of a government’s first term.
Article 268 (1) of the 1992 Constitution states that “a person who holds a public office mentioned in clause (5) of this Article shall submit to the Auditor-General a written declaration of all property or assets owned by, or liabilities owed by, him whether directly or indirectly (a) within three months after the coming into force of this Constitution or before taking office, as the case may be, (b) at the end of every four years; and (b) at the end of his term of office.”
The Constitution requires the declaration to be done before the public officer takes office. However, Section 1(4)(c) of the Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act directs public office holders to meet this requirement not later than six months after taking office, at the end of every four years and not later than six months at the end of his or her term.
The law requires that the President, Vice-President, the Speaker, Deputy Speakers of Parliament, ministers and deputy ministers of state, ambassadors, the Chief Justice and managers of public institutions in which the state has interest submit to the Auditor-General written declarations of all property or assets owned by, or liabilities owed by them, whether directly or indirectly.
Adwoa Adobea-Owusu, Paul Gozo, Prosper Prince Midedzi & Seth J. Bokpe contributed to this story.