Accountability journalism compels 294 public officeholders into declaring assets

A count of the number of public officeholders who have lined up to declare their assets after The Fourth Estate reported widespread noncompliance with Ghana’s asset declaration law has hit 294.

From judges to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), through to Members of Parliament and presidential staffers, the officeholders who are being whipped into compliance with the law have cut across.

As reported by The Fourth Estate, an accountability journalism project of the MFWA, itself, 203 MMDCEs rushed to the Audit Service between May and November 2022 to declare their assets and liabilities in unprecedented compliance with Act 550.

Of the 203 MMDCEs, 65 have been in office since 2017, while 19 others who took office after the creation of new regions in 2018 have now complied with the law.

One hundred and fourteen (114) others appointed in October 2021 also declared their assets in the said period.

Before The Fourth Estate had started reporting the culture of impunity and blatant noncompliance with the law, only six MMDCEs appointed in October 2021 had declared their assets and liabilities.

It would be recalled that in September 2022, eight (8) judges had scrambled to declare their assets after The Fourth Estate had written a letter to the Judicial Service seeking clarity on the asset-declaration status of 15 judges, including the eight (8) who rushed to declare.

Again, in September 2022, Deputy Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, had declared his assets after The Fourth Estate had published a report on defaulting leaders of parliament.

So far 20 ministers and former ministers; 48 members of Parliament; 15 presidential staffers, 6 heads of state institutions and 8 judges declared their assets after The Fourth Estate’s story.

Hopefully, more officeholders will level up with the law as The Fourth Estate continues to put the noncompliance with the asset declaration under highlight as a matter of accountability journalism.

About The Fourth Estate

The Fourth Estate is a non-profit, public interest and accountability investigative journalism project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). Our aim is to promote independent and critical research-based journalism that holds those in power answerable to the people they govern.

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