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22.07.2021 Headlines

Special Prosecutor nominee Kissi Agyebeng faces vetting today

Special Prosecutor nominee Kissi Agyebeng faces vetting today
LISTEN JUL 22, 2021

Special Prosecutor nominee, Mr. Kissi Agyebeng is scheduled to be vetted by Parliament’s Appointments Committee today, Thursday, July 22.

The vetting will take place at the committee rooms 1,2, and 3 of the New Administration Block of Parliament House at 10:00 am.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, nominated Mr. Agyebeng; a law lecturer and private legal practitioner as a replacement for Martin Amidu, who resigned from the position in November 2020.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor has the mandate to investigate and prosecute all suspected corruption and corruption-related offences pertaining to public officers, politically exposed persons, and persons in the private sector.

Apart from initiating investigations on its own, Act 959 gives the Office of the Special Prosecutor the power to receive and investigate complaints of alleged corruption from the public or investigate suspected corruption or corruption-related offences upon referral from public bodies such as the Attorney General's Department, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

Kissi Agyebeng was called to the Ghana Bar in October 2003 and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Ghana, as well as Master of Laws (LLM) degrees from Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada, and Cornell Law School, USA.

He has, since 2006, been teaching Criminal Law at the University of Ghana, whilst engaging in private law practice.

Appointments Committee must adequately interrogate Kissi Agyebeng – Group

Anti-corruption campaigner group, Citizens’ Movement Against Corruption, want the Appointments Committee to thoroughly interrogate all red flags raised about the nomination of Kissi Agyebeng as Special Prosecutor when the nominee appears before them for vetting.

Convener of the Citizens’ Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu indicated that issues such as conflict of interest and others raised by some concerned persons including Martin Amidu against Agyebeng must not be taken lightly but must be probed.

“Parliament needs to adequately interrogate the issues that have been raised in the public space. Bright Simons talks about the Agyapa issue. Martin Amidu himself has also spoken about the relationship [of Agyebeng] with some persons named in the Agyapa report, and so to prevent a situation of a potential or actual conflict of interest [such issue must be probed],” he said.

Different opinions have been expressed about Mr. Agyebeng's nomination, including one from a former deputy Attorney General, Joseph Kpemka who believes the nominee is qualified for the position.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has also said the credentials of Kissi Agyebeng pale in comparison to those of his predecessor, Martin Amidu.

The Director of Legal Affairs for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Abraham Amaliba recently opined that the Special Prosecutor-nominee lacks the political clout to fight public sector corruption.

“I've worked with him before, and he is a moderate person, not the hawkish type. What I can say about him is that he has the intellectual capacity to man that office because he is a criminal law lecturer but what he lacks is the public and political clout to fight public sector corruption. I'm doing this by comparing him to his predecessor, Mr. Martin Amidu because during his [Amidu's] previous life he fought corruption but Kissi Agyabeng doesn't have that,” Amaliba said.

---citinewsroom

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