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Sunday, June 26, 2022

GII rebukes AG for dismissing resource difficulties at Special Prosecutor’s office

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The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has rebuked the Attorney General (AG) for dismissing resource difficulties at the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).

According to the Senior Programmes Officer for GII, Mary Addah, it was unfortunate for the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, to compare funds his office has received to that of the OSP, adding that the comments were unfair.

Speaking at the inauguration of the OSP Board after months of delay, Mr Dame fought off claims that the government is starving the OSP of funds. He also described the allegations as malicious.

The Minister of Justice went ahead to state that the OSP is far more resourced than his own outfit.

“Some malicious, ill-founded and often ill-researched comments in the media about the Office, that resources at your disposal hardly serve the public interest – I was intrigued when one media house reported recently that only an amount of 10 million has been released so far – this year – for the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

“This is a media house reporting without regards to the general situation affecting budgetary allocations and releases for institutions investigating and prosecuting crimes, and the promotion of good governance in the country, generally.

“The record will show that apart from the amount released for the compensation of employees, only a total amount of less than a quarter of what was reported as having been received by the OSP has been released for the operations of the entire office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice,” he said.

But responding to the AG, Mary Addah described the assertions as unjustifiable. She said the fact remained that the office needed resources to function.

“The real concerns we raised about the funding issues remain relevant. Whether they are malicious or ill-informed, the fact remains that the new office which needs resources to operate has not been resourced enough.

“The Attorney General says his office has not been resourced as that of the OSP but I think that is a very unfortunate comparison to make,” she argued.

OSP Board

The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, had worked without a board since he took office nine months ago.

The absence of the board members had been a thorny issue for many civil society organisations that lamented the lack of a substantive Board and the impact on the operations of the Special Prosecutor.

But on Tuesday, June 21, the AG inducted a nine-member Board for the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).

GII rebukes AG for dismissing resource difficulties at Special Prosecutor’s office
Photo of new board members of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Attorney General

The new members sworn in were Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, Deputy Special Prosecutor, Cynthia Jane Lamptey, Rep from Audit Service, Lawrence Ayagba, Rep of Ghana Police Service, DCOP Wilfred Boahen Frimpong and Rep of EOCO, Aba Jacqueline Opoku.

The rest were Rep of CHRAJ Stephen Azantilow, Rep of Ministry of National Security, COP George Tuffuor (Rtd), Rep of Anti-Corruption Civil Society Linda Ofori-Kwafo and Rep of Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Kofi Boadi A. Boakye.

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