U.S. Ambassador Robert P. Jackson has said he would love to see the Akufo-Addo government establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor to send a strong signal to international investors that his government is intent on fighting corruption.
On June 27, 2017, Ghana’s Attorney General Gloria Akuffo told a Chinese Embassy-funded consultative forum that: “It is our belief that the establishment of the office of the special prosecutor will be a major step towards strengthening the anti-corruption regime in this country and thereby substantially reduce the canker if not eliminate it.”
She explained that as proposed in the draft Bill, “the office of the special prosecutor will have the mandate to investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption under the Public Procurement Act 203 Act 63 and other corruption related offences implicating public officers, political office holders and their accomplices in the public sector as well as trace and recover the proceeds of corruption.”
“We believe that the establishment of a dedicated anti-corruption office vested with investigative, prosecutorial and asset recovery authority will result in improved execution of our anti-corruption efforts rather than a continued reliance on multipurpose or mixed mandate agencies,” she added.
The special prosecutor’s office is one of the major campaign promises made by Mr Akufo-Addo.
The president, who promised setting up the office in the first six months of office, noted that the office when operational will be independent of the executive and other arms of government adding that “the office is going to be established by an act of Parliament and it will have the remit to investigate and prosecute corrupt officials.”
A bill to that effect was laid before parliament but was later withdrawn and resubmitted.
At a roundtable on good corporate governance organised by Krif Ghana Limited, the US Ambassador said it was necessary that the legislature passes the bill quickly so the office could be established to fight corruption.
“The President has talked about the importance of creating the right environment and making this a business-friendly environment. …We will like to see some follow-up. I will like to see the Special Prosecutor Office established. I think this will send an important signal to him. I will like to see the people who were involved in the Central Medical Stores fire prosecuted. I think that will also send an important signal…Foreign companies I know are looking for the President to show that things are changing. That there is going to be a new approach,” Mr. Jackson said.