Former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative has described the ongoing feud between the Economic and Organised Crimes Office and the Auditor General as unfortunate.
According to Vitus Azeem, a clash between the two anti-corruption offices is unhealthy for the fight against corruption.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express with Evans Mensah on Tuesday he said “it is very unfortunate, I think that these are two state institutions paid with taxpayers money to fight the same crime.
“They should have been able to settle this thing and refer the matter to the appropriate body to investigate,” he lamented.
The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, is resisting the EOCO from investigating his office.
The investigation was triggered by a petition from a private citizen.
This citizen alleged that there has been a breach of Act 663 in the Procurement law in relation to the purchasing of vehicles worth almost GH¢6.2 million for the Audit Service.
Resisting the investigations Mr Danie Domelevor in a letter to the EOCO said: “ I am advised that the relevant provision in Act 959 which amended Act 804 is section 80 and therein, your office’s mandate to investigate corruption and corruption-related offences, which has been defined to include procurement breaches, has been taken away.”
Private legal practitioner and Law Lecturer, Justice Srem Sai shares the position of the Auditor- General.
Also speaking on Pm Express, he said indeed the Economic and Organised Crime Office has lost its power to investigate procurement-related infractions to the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
His position, he said, is predicated on two legal reasonings.
The first is that when two laws are in conflict, the latest of the two holds sway.
The second principle is that specific laws always take preeminence over the general worded ones.
According to the Law lecturer, what the Auditor-General is simply saying is that EOCO is not the proper forum for him to be investigated.
“Section 81 of the Special Prosecutor’s Act says that institutions which were already investigating procurement infractions prior to the coming into effect OSP should transfer such cases to the OSP Which now falls under its jurisdiction,” he revealed.