The Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, says his desire for prosecutorial powers from the Attorney General has abated a little following the appointment of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor.
According to him, under section three of the Special Prosecutor's Act, the Office can investigate alleged corruption and corruption-related offences, which are submitted to Parliament and the Attorney General by the Audit Service.
He added that given the extensive mandate of the Special Prosecutor, it is imperative that they allow the new Office to commence its work fully in order to assess its capacity.
Mr. Domelevo had earlier placed a request to the Attorney General for prosecutorial powers to enable his outfit deal with persons and institutions indicted in the annual audit reports.
However speaking on Point Blank Eyewitness News on Monday, Mr. Domelevo said: “Even that position I've relaxed it a bit because of the coming into office of the Special Prosecutor. I want the Special Prosecutor to also take off and let us see. For all you know, he may have enough capacity to cover the cases. Section 3 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act actually requires that he takes some of our recommendations and prosecute so that link has been established by law. It's good we wait a bit and see how the Special Prosecutor's Office is going to be. If they have enough stomach and energy to drive all that, they can go ahead with prosecution.”
News of the request from the Auditor General for the prosecutorial powers was met with widespread commendation from Civil Society and the general Ghanaian public.
Many people praised Mr. Domelevo for his desire to ensure that persons who misappropriate state funds are made to face the law.
However, after some suggestions that his request was an indictment on the Office of the Attorney General for their failure to prosecute persons cited in the audit reports, Mr. Domelevo chastised the media for exaggerating his call .
He reiterated his assertion that he wasn't in dire need of prosecutorial powers on Eyewitness News, adding that he was merely “offering a helping hand” to the AG.
“What we want to do is to hold people accountable. To be honest, prosecution is not my responsibility. My predecessor actually applied for [prosecutorial powers]. People think I want to use my auditors to go and prosecute I have a legal department which is staffed by professional legal practitioners. When they brought it to my attention, I thought that to get them occupied and with the AG saying she has 300 instead of the 600 [lawyers] that she may need to run her office, I thought that why not ask the AG that if it pleases her, we can help in prosecution,” he said.
“But that is not something I am in dying need of. My job is to audit and I have the mandate to audit. I am only extending a helping hand to the AG. If it pleases her and she says I should come on board, then I'll go.”
Mr. Domelevo stated that although the AG had acknowledged receipt of his request, they have not responded to it because “at the time they said they didn't have a Board or Council which has to considerate. I hope they have it now.”
Mr. Amidu was sworn in on Friday, February 23, 2018 at the Flagstaff House by President Akufo-Addo in the presence of the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia; Chief of Staff Frema Opare; Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo and other government officials.
The former Attorney General received unanimous approval from Parliament, and was widely acclaimed by the Ghanaian public for his performance at his vetting.