Special Prosecutor awaits governing board to recruit staff

The newly appointed Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng has signaled that he intends to employ and train an initial staff of two hundred and fifty (250). This will include investigators and prosecutors. The Office currently has one police investigator on secondment and a prosecutor from the Attorney General’s Office.

However, to do this, he will need the input of the governing board of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, a board which is yet to be reconstituted following the expiration of the three (3) year term of the first governing board.

Per section 6 (1) c of Act 959, the Special Prosecutor requires the advise of the governing board to recruit and select the Secretary and other senior staff of the Office. The Special Prosecutor officially took office on the 5th of August 2021, vowing to work hard to ensure that corruption in Ghana which he likeness to a pandemic, is suppressed and repressed in the nation.

First Actions

Mr. Agyebeng has moved in to a new office complex that was allocated to the office under the previous Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu. He has been setting up the office in readiness for recruitment. His Office has also embarked on prevention of corruption campaigns and visibility publicity for the office including tv and radio interviews.

The Office has set up social media accounts, website and complaint office. On the prosecutorial side, Mr. Agyebeng says he has been reviewing all cases filed before the office will work on them from this month.

In what can be considered as his first action in Court, the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, entered a nolle prosequi (application to discontinue a case) at the Financial and Tax Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, in a case brought to court by his predecessor Martin Amidu against Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, for using public office for private benefit, among other charges.

Mr. Agyebeng has told the public that he has been building the ship while sailing it until he has full compliment of staff, infrastructure and logistics.

Governing Board

Section 5 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor(OSP) Act 2017, (Act 959) stipulates that the governing body of the Office should consist of the Special Prosecutor, the Deputy Special Prosecutor, one representative of the Audit Service not below the rank of a Director nominated by the Auditor-General, one representative of the Ghana Police Service not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police nominated by the Inspector General of Police, and one representative of the Economic and Organized Crime Office not below the rank of a Director nominated by the Executive Director.

The other members are, one representative of the Financial Intelligence Centre not below the rank of a Director nominated by the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Intelligence Centre, one representative of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice not below the rank of 4 Director nominated by the Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, one person with background in intelligence and not below the rank of a Director nominated by the Minister responsible for National Security; and one other person who is a female representing the Anti- Corruption Civil Society Organizations.

Function of the Board

The functions of the Board which are spelt out in Act 959 are to formulate policies necessary for the achievement of the object of the Office, ensure the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Office, and to advise the Special Prosecutor on the recruitment and selection of the Secretary and other senior staff of the Office.

Some other functions of the board are; to develop and monitor implementation of a code of conduct for staff of the Office, facilitate cooperation between the Office and relevant national investigative bodies to ensure the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Office and to advise the Special Prosecutor on any policy matters that may be referred to the Board by the Special Prosecutor.

Section 8 (1) of Act 959 states that a member of the Board shall hold office for a period of three years and is eligible for re-appointment, but a member shall not be appointed for more than two terms.

Expired Board

The first board of the OSP was appointed and sworn into office by President Akufo-Addo on the 12th of July 2018. The members were the then Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, the Deputy Special Prosecutor, Cynthia Lamptey, Representative of the Audit Service – Addae Wireko-Tawiah, Representative of the Police Service/ Director of Police CID- Maame Tiwaa Addo Danquah.

The others were Representative of the Economic and Organized Crime Office- Charles Nana Antwi, Representative of the Financial Intelligence Centre- Kofi Boadi Boakye, Representative of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative- Charles Ayamdoo, the nominee of the Minister responsible for National Security, Kwaku Domfeh and the female representative of the Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organizations, Linda Ofori-Kwafo. Linda Ofori-Kwafo, was elected by her colleagues as the chairperson of the governing board.

Source: asaaseradio

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