Deputy Attorney-General, Joseph Kpemka, has disclosed ongoing process by the government to advance critical funds to the Office of the Special Prosecutor next week.
Mr Kpemka said the swift action is to quell misconception by a section of the public that there is a deliberate attempt to frustrate the work of the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, from carrying out his responsibility.
“Within this week and next, in terms of financial resources, something will be released. But long-term, as I have spoken about, adequate equipment are supposed to be made available, vehicles are supposed to be procured for the Office,” he said on PM Express on the Joy News channel (MultiTV) on Thursday.
The assurance comes on the back of public concerns that the Special Prosecutor’s mandate is being deliberately impeded by unknown interests within government – concerns that may have been fueled by a recent comment by Mr Amidu.
At a recent National Audit Forum organised by the Ghana Audit Service, Mr Amidu indicated that he is unable to discharge his duties and advance the fight against corruption forwards because of a lack of legislative instrument and critical funds.
He stated: “You can’t win fight against corruption by the appointment of one person. You need to establish an office. That office must have all the components of division. Investigators must be in place, prosecutors must be in place. The Asset Recovery personnel must be in place, the Asset Corruption personnel must be in place.
“I have been in office for seven months, there is no Legislation for me to recruit, there is no legislation for me to operate; I don’t have component of staff. I have just a core component of staff…and yet the public is baying: ‘what is he doing?’…in any case you just don’t walk on to the street and say ‘your face looks like corruption, I will catch you’. I am saying his for the public to understand that we have set up an office, we have to organize that office, have the necessary personnel…”
Image: Joseph Kempka
Reacting on PM Express to the comments – which many have interpreted to mean President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s lack of commitment to fighting corruption – Mr Kpemka said although the delay in providing the need logistics was unfortunate, that will soon change.
“There was no way that we could suddenly have acquired vehicles and offices and etc before we went through the processes of passing the [Special Prosecutor’s] bill into the law, we had to pass it into law then we can start the process of implementing it,” he said.
He said government will soon put out a comprehensive statement “to assure the general public that Amidu is not going to be left alone and that we are going to give him all the support available. Government is committed to that, and it is non-negotiable.”
Office of the Special Prosecutor
Parliament established the Office of the Special Prosecutor in 2017 as a specialised agency to investigate specific cases of corruption, involving public officers and individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices
Mr Amidu, a former Attorney General in the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) was appointed into that office by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by President Akufo-Addo.
The appointed was hailed as a master-stroke in the fight as against corruption because Mr Amidu is a known anti-corruption campaigner who took up and won corruption cases that his own party (NDC) failed to act on.