There have been various instances where some citizens in Ghana have claimed that office complexes housing government institutions have purposefully been burnt to cover up corrupt practices of high ranking members of the government.
One person who has recently made such allegations is Farouk Al-Wahab, an experienced international diplomatic consultant who is also a product of Afro-Asia Institute and Karl Franzens Uni. Gra- Australia.
This was his answer in a recent interview with Happy 98.9FM’s Afrifa-Mensah on the ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ political show, where he was asked if it will be wise for the government to change the statement, “anyone accusing a public office holder of corruption should present documents to support their claims” to “public office holders should present documents to clear their names if they are accused of corruption.”
According to him, with either statement, it will still be impossible to charge and sentence government officials because the evidence to prosecute them will never be found.
“They burn the documents that can see them to jail. These corrupt officials burn these documents before they leave power and that is why the cause of these burnt government agencies have never been found out regardless of combined efforts of both the Ghana Police Office and Fire Service.”
“These fires are to hide documents,” he reiterated.
On the Wednesday evening of October 1, 2009, fire gutted the entire 10-storeyed building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Accra. The fire started from the ground floor at about 5pm and destroyed several historical documents, a senior ministry official said. “This is a big blow to us. In fact, all our documents have been destroyed by the fire. Everything is a total mess,” Victor Gbeho, presidential adviser of foreign affairs told reporters.
On January 13, 2015, the Central Medical Stores of Ghana was consumed by fire, resulting in the destruction of medical supplies and equipment. It was revealed that the arsonist was believed to have been paid to set the fire in order to destroy the evidence for an investigation that was to be conducted by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) into suspected corruption at the CMS.
Fire gutted the Head Office Annex of the GRA, known as the VAT House, along the Ring Road Central, near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, on December 1, 2019, leaving the top floor of the two-storey building ravaged. There were wild rumours that a stash of cash running into millions of cedis that was collected before the week ended was all in flames, but GRA sources are claiming that there was no cash at the office. The GRA also indicated that no data was lost as the authority had a networked system with a backup.