The Chairperson of the Board of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Linda Ofori Kwafo, is optimistic that the enactment of a legislative instrument for the office will deal with most of its challenges.
According to her, the processes for the passage of the L.I have delayed because Parliament is on recess.In recent times, the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has complained about the constraints preventing him from executing his mandate.
Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of a GII Event on Business Integrity, Linda Ofori Kwafo said she had no doubt that government was committed to resourcing the office.
“I must say that there were some needs of the office. There was the need to expand the office and premises and all that. There was the need to have the L.I that will help the office to be able to do its work, and then subsequently the Special Prosecutor had made complaints on these matters to appropriate institutions and persons.
“Since the matter happened, steps have been taken. We know that a legislative instrument would have to be laid before Parliament and after a certain number of days, passed into law. Parliament is on recess so obviously when it comes up, now that the matter has become one that everyone looks to, so I am sure when Parliament resumes, we will have the L.I laid and then the Special Prosecutor will get the documents he needs to work with in terms of financial resources and all that…”
‘I’ve no legislation; I’m just using common sense’ – Amidu complains
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu a few days ago openly spoke about the challenges he’s facing in executing his mandate.
Parliament passed a law in November in 2017 to establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor as a specialized agency to investigate specific cases of corruption, involving public officers and individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices.
But several months on, the office is yet to be fully active after the noise that greeted the appointment of the man affectionately called ‘Citizen Vigilante,’ for his anti-corruption campaigns.
Speaking at the National Audit Forum organized by the Ghana Audit Service, the visibly frustrated Special Prosecutor said his office lacks the resources to deliver.
He warned that the office will not be able to fully discharge its duties if the situation is not addressed soon.
“I am saying this for the public to understand that we have set up an office. We have to organize that office, have the requisite personnel. It does not take one day. The law says 90 days after the assumption of office of the Special Prosecutor, pursuant legislation must be enacted, but as I speak today, I have no legislation, so I use my common sense.”
“The law says I can coordinate with other organizations, so I coordinate with the Auditor General, I coordinate with EOCO, I coordinate with other anti-corruption agencies so as to find a way by which we can begin to work towards the ultimate end. I have warned that if most of these things are not done by the middle of this year, then this office may not be able to be seen to be doing its mandate, because by middle next year we are in an election year. If I arrest someone, you will turn out and look at it; which party does he hold the insurance card for?”
Resource special prosecutor to fight corruption – GBA tells gov’t
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA), earlier called on the government to as a matter of urgency, resource the office of the Special Prosecutor to carry out its mandate of fighting corruption and prosecuting corrupt officials.
While commending the government on the establishment of the office and the subsequent appointment of Mr. Martin Amidu at the Ghana Bar Association’s annual General Conference in Koforidua, Mr. Benson Nutsupkui, the President of GBA also asked the government to resource other anti-corruption institutions such as the Ministry of Justice, EOCO, CHRAJ and among others.
“We commend the government on the appointment of the Special Prosecutor to fight corruption. To make his office meaningful, however, we call on the government to adequately resource the office of the Special Prosecutor as well as the other anti-corruption institutions which already exist, and indeed the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General,” he added.