Special Prosecutor’s operationalisation challenges have cast slur on corruption fight – Bernard Ahiafor

Ranking Member on the Constitutional and Legal Affairs committee, Bernard Ahaifor says the operationalisation challenges faced by the Special Prosecutor have cast a slur on the government’s quest to fight corruption.

According to him, the lack of resources have left the Special Prosecutor handicapped in his work.

Speaking to JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson, Mr Ahaifor said that “as a Special Prosecutor resources are needed, both human and financial, to be able to conduct in-depth investigations into issues relating to corruption and corruption-related offences but he has not been provided the needed resources to be able to do that.”

“For me, Kissi Agyabeng is appointed as the SP to behave as if he is checking corruption and corruption-related offences but in reality, they do not want him to function as such,” he added.

This comes after JoyNews checks revealed that nine months after Kissi Agyabeng was sworn in as the Special Prosecutor, his office does not have a Governing Board.

Mr. Agyebeng took office in August 2021.

 

Section 5 and 6 of the Office of Special Prosecutor Act 2017 and Act 959 task the Board to formulate policies for the object of the Office, ensure proper and effective performance of the functions of the Office, advise the Special Prosecutor on the recruitment and selection of various staff among other duties.

But JoyNews sources say although the OSP has written multiple letters to the Presidency reminding it of the need to inaugurate the Board to ensure smooth operation of the Office, this has not been done.

However, the absence of the Board is not the only challenge facing the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

The other challenge is inadequate resources and the inability of the office to put contract workers on its payroll.

The OSP is said to have made a request for the approval of a ¢1 billion budget to set up the office, build a cybersecurity and forensic lab, cells to keep suspects and purchase other logistics.

But available information indicates that the Finance Ministry committed about ¢170 million out of which only ¢10 million have been released.

Meanwhile, the ranking member has charged the government to immediately constitute a board to demonstrate its commitment to the fight against corruption.

“By the Special Prosecutor Act, the board must be in place and it is the board that formulate policies, there are lots of functions that the board of the office of the Special Prosecutor is supposed to perform,” he added.

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