Martin Amidu, the Special Prosecutor has for the first time broken his silence about the challenges he’s facing in executing his mandate.
Parliament passed a law in November in 2017 to establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor as a specialized agency to investigate specific cases of corruption, involving public officers and individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices.
But several months on, the office is yet to be fully effective after the noise that greeted the appointment of the man affectionately called ‘Citizen Vigilante’, for his anti-corruption campaigns.
Speaking at the National Audit Forum organized by the Ghana Audit Service, the visibly frustrated Special Prosecutor said his office lacks the resources to deliver.
He warned that the office will not be able to fully discharge its duties if the situation is not addressed soon.
“I am saying this for the public to understand that we have set up an office. We have to organize that office, have the requisite personnel. It does not take one day. The law says 90 days after the assumption of office of the Special Prosecutor, pursuant legislation must be enacted, but as I speak today, I have no legislation so I use my common sense.”
“The law says I can coordinate with other organizations so I coordinate with the Auditor General, I coordinate with EOCO, I coordinate with other anti-corruption agencies so as to find a way by which we can begin to work towards the ultimate end.
I have warned that if most of these things are not done by the middle of this year then this office may not be able to be seen to be doing its mandate, because by middle next year we are in an election year. If I arrest someone, you will turn out and look at it; which party does he hold the insurance card for?”
Resource special prosecutor to fight corruption — Ghana Bar Association tells gov’t
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA), earlier called on the government to as a matter of urgency, resource the office of the Special Prosecutor to carry out its mandate of fighting corruption and prosecuting corrupt officials.
Whiles commending the government on the establishment of the office and the subsequent appointment of Mr. Martin Amidu at the Ghana Bar Association’s annual General Conference in Koforidua, Mr. Benson Nutsupkui, the President of GBA also asked the government to resource other anti-corruption institutions such as the Ministry of Justice, EOCO, CHRAJ and among others.
“We commend the government on the appointment of the Special Prosecutor to fight corruption. To make his office meaningful, however, we call on the government to adequately resource the office of the Special Prosecutor as well as the other anti-corruption institutions which already exist, and indeed the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General,” he added.
Special Prosecutor office will be resourced soon — Attorney General
The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, in March 2018 indicated that some administrative arrangements were underway to equip the Office of the Special Prosecutor with the requisite resources.
A news report filed a month after the Special Prosecutor was officially sworn-in, revealed that the office is incomplete.
Martin Amidu was sworn in by President Nana Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor in February 2018.
We’ll investigate ‘serious cases’, not hearsay — Martin Amidu
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, recently said his office will only prosecute serious cases of alleged corruption due to the limited resources available to his office.
He was however quick to add that his office will not spare corrupt officials since it will devise measures to deal with minor offenses.