EOCO to collaborate with Special Prosecutor to perform mandate

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has stated that it intends to collaborate with the Office of the Special Prosecutor to carry out its mandate.

According to EOCO, the setting-up of the Office of the Special Prosecutor would rather complement their effort in the fight against corruption.

Mr Edward Cudjoe, a legal officer at EOCO, said this at a stakeholders conference on the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in Accra.

The conference, which was organised by the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, was to solicit the views and inputs of various stakeholders including civil society organisations (CSOs), anti-corruption organisations, and the Auditor-General’s Department on the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill to be put before Parliament.

Mr Cudjoe dispelled public perception that the Office would render the work of EOCO redundant, it would rather enhance it.

He explained that setting up of the OSP did not affect the mandate of EOCO to investigative bribery and corruption issues as well as organised and economic crimes in the country.

Mr Cudjoe noted that though, over the years, EOCO had not received the necessary funding for its activities, it would be better for government to resource it to build capacity in terms of manpower and technology to discharge its mandate.

He indicated that “so far as EOCO was concerned if the new Bill was able to distinguish between the role of OSP in terms of dealing with grand corruption among public exposed persons and that of EOCO’s mandate there would not be any duplication of functions”.

Mr Cudjoe stressed the need for the formation of a taskforce among the various investigative bodies to ensure better coordination in their funstions.

He said over the last two years funding to most investigative bodies had been a problem and, as such, affected their activities in terms of capacity for staff and operations across the country.

Mr Cudjoe said fighting corruption required a lot of resources including paying informants and others to feed EOCO with information to be able to carry out its duties.

Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), hailed the setting-up of the OSP, which would complement the work of existing investigative bodies to fight corruption.

He, however, cautioned against government channelling all the funding to the OSP to the neglect of existing investigative bodies.

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