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13.05.2019 General News

Gov’t Underestimated The Enormity Of Task For The Special Prosecutor

By Clement Akoloh
Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor in suit and President Akufo Addo in a conversation after his swearing inMartin Amidu, Special Prosecutor in suit and President Akufo Addo in a conversation after his swearing in

It appears the attacks on the Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu, for his nail's pace in the dealing with corrupt cases in the country may have been misdirected because government seems to be the real culprit in the matter.

According to a review of the Office of the Special Prosecutor by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD), Government is rather guilty of slowing down the pace of these prosecutions as a result in the slow pace in setting up the Office.

This, CDD claims has affected the capacity of the OSP office to be fully functional to deliver according to its mandate.

The Center has indicated that government initially underestimated the enormity of the task ahead when it set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

According to the Civil Society Organization which played a major part in advocacy prior to the setting up of the Office, government has been slow in providing the full complement of what the Special Prosecutor needs to function fully.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, the Head of Advocacy and Policy Evaluation at the CDD, Dr. Kojo Asante indicated that government underestimated what it would take for the Office of the Special Prosecutor to become fully functional in order to perform the functions for which it was set up.

“In our respected opinion, government initially underestimated the scope and the task ahead in setting up the Office. The OSP for example, has police powers and in that regard, when he arrests or detains a suspect, he should have the requisite logistics; the appropriate holding vehicle; interrogation rooms and equipment to conduct investigations,” he observed.

He said it was critical for the Office to be allocated an appropriate office space which can serve the purpose of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

He therefore appealed to the President Akufo-Addo to ensure that actions are expedited on the release of the newly allocated office space to the Special Prosecutor.

“In spite of the huge amount that was allocated to the Office of the OSP for 2019, recruitments could not be expedited without an office to house the personnel. This means that securing an office is critical in speeding up the operationalization of the Office,” he stressed.

He emphasized that there were also delays in the passage of the Legislative Instrument (LI) which was supposed to elaborate the rules to exercise the powers of the OSP under the Act. The LI was passed in December last year.

“Therefore the delay in the passage of the LI did not help; not having a building fit for the purpose did not help; but at the same time, the long drawn out bureaucracy in place has not helped either,” he emphasised.

President Akufo Addo swore Martin Amidu into office as Special Prosecutor at the Flagstaff House on Friday, February 23, 2018 to investigate and prosecute corruption and corruption related cases.

He was also supposed to see to the establishment of structures and systems for sustainable and effective running of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.