The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, says 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.
“I can assure you that every petition that has come to this office since I assumed office had been responded to. There are however some people who will just read the news and say ‘this person said this, investigate it’…This office cannot investigate hear-say. So petitioners should be people who must have personal knowledge of the facts.
I know you cannot have resources to prosecute everybody who commits a crime so you make sure you prosecute only the very serious ones so it can deter people from continuing to commit crime because you have to look at the resources you are spending and then the other areas, so we will prosecute serious corruption offenses.”
Mr. Amidu said he and his team might agree to accept reparations, adding that the public should not be emotional in those instances.
He asked the public to give his office time to do its working, adding that “I can assure them that under our watch, nobody will interfere with our work. We will be as independent as possible, subject only to the rule of law and due process. We will treat crime as a crime regardless of party political considerations, whatever associations and ethnic affiliation, crime will be a crime.”
Speaking to Metro TV, Martin Amidu also said “what they are expecting now is money” to entirely run their operations.
Office of Special Prosecutor
The Office of the Special Prosecutor has been tasked to investigate and prosecute specific categories of cases and allegations of corruption and other criminal wrongdoing, including those involving alleged violations of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and cases implicating public officers and politically-exposed persons.
The office has also be mandated to trace and recover the proceeds of corruption.
The Special Prosecutor’s office is expected to be independent of the Executive, which observers believe will allow it to deal with corruption-related issues which have plagued governance adequately.
Nana Addo swears in Office of the Special Prosecutor board
On Thursday, President Nana Akufo-Addo swore in a nine-member governing board to oversee the work of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
Per the Act establishing the Office of Special Prosecutor, the office becomes fully operational when there is a Governing Board to direct affairs.
The board is made up of representatives of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the Ghana Police Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), and the National Security Minister.
The members include the CID Boss, DCOP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah; the EOCO rep, Charles Nana Antwi; representatives from civil society, Linda Ofori Kwafo and Addai Wereko Tawiah; Kofi Wiredu Boakye, Charles Ayamadu, and Kwaku Domfeh.
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, and his deputy, Cynthia Lamptey, are also members of the board.
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, politically-exposed persons, as well as individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices. The office is empowered by law to prosecute offenders on the authority of the Attorney-General.