Corruption, as we are all aware is an endemic phenomenon in the public sector as indicated by both anecdotal and evidence-based research coupled with some significant footages of bureaucrats and public officials indulging in the abominable act. It is believed that corruption has been part of human institutions since time immemorial hence difficult to eradicate for which I solemnly bet to differ. In line with criminal code 1960, (Act 29) corruption includes many diverse facets but more pronounced amongst them all is the one in the public sector which according to a survey in 2015 has aggrandized to a percentage of 72.1 as reported by Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
It is in light of this that so many institutions have been legitimately charged to help combat corruption in Ghana. Some prominent ones are, Ghana integrity initiative (GII), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), who aids mostly in sensitizing the public on issues pertaining to corruption, Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the most focal point of this write-up, the recently established Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSF) after his excellency, the president of Ghana gave his presidential assent to parliamentary bill to establish same and subsequently nominated Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu to serve in that capacity on a successful passage through a vivid vetting process conducted by appointments committee. In concordance with section 3(1), as one of his functions, the special prosecutor is mandated to “investigate acts of corruption involving public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector who engaged in corruption”. With all these encouraging provisions, however, there have been someone or two lacunas needed to be looked at earnestly to clear the vagueness in acts coining these very important offices.
Yes, the Special Prosecutor's office is deemed independent but not so absolute, owing to the fact that, prosecutions ought to be made under the auspices and watch of the Attorney General which raises so many concerns.
Does it mean the attorney general can turn down cases brought fore by the special prosecutor, subject to prosecution to his or her table, especially if the culprits are cronies of the former?
Each of the aforementioned institutions has a significant role to play in the fight for the common course at hand, but there is one deficiency and shortcoming that I have taken note of, which is for the fact that the administrative collaboration link is missing completely amongst them. It has become evident that, upon the establishment of these plethora entities, corruption is still experiencing an unprecedented escalation in many bureaucratic offices. This submission could even be buttressed the more following complaints made by the Special Prosecutor on the cagey and uncooperative pace at which many agencies are working, which doesn’t aid in the expedition of his work at all.
Nonetheless, over the years, there have been some private investigative entities who have showcased their commitment towards the course of unravelling corruption-related activities for the view of all, most recently is the one which occurred in the sporting sector of the country and a colossal betrayal on the part of some entrusted officials of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) offices tasked to assist in the curtailment of terrible issues regarding illegal mining in every nook and cranny province of the country. These unpalatable ventures have visibly indicated they are rather working to bring into futility the head of state’s agenda on mining matters in the sovereignty of our territory which is very appalling considering how passionate and keen he has being to ensure the successful mitigation of incidence of illegal mining in the country.
The Tiger Eye group, spearheaded by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, always living up to the motive “name shame and jail”, have demonstrated a high sense of citizenship but not spectatorship as charged us to be by the president of the republic for which I urge everyone to follow suit to bring prosperity to the “Ghana” we have all been yearning for.
Considering the encumbered work on the Special Prosecutor coupled with many clarion calls from scores of citizens for his delivery, I would have preferred that there should be an amalgamation of these two entities (SP and Tiger Eye Investigative group) to elicit great and incredible results that we all want, other than that we will keep on singing the same song till thy kingdom come. As the adage tells “two heads are better than none” could best suit the current dispensation in which we are without a shred of doubt. The two will be a strong force to be reckoned with, if it happens, believe me, you.
By: WISDOM KOFI ADZAKOR POLITICAL ACTIVIST
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