Special Prosecutor (SP) Martin Amidu, has been called upon by Civil Society Organisation, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), to regularly give Ghanaians an account of the cases that his office is dealing with.
This, according to the GII, will help the citizenry gain a better understanding of the operations of the office of the SP and boost confidence in the office.
A number of critics have said Mr Amidu’s office has not achieved anything in terms of the fight against corruption since his appointment by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo three years ago.
This is because as Special Prosecutor, he is yet to successfully prosecute any of those under investigation by his office.
The Programme Officer of the GII, Mr Jacob Tetteh Awunu, speaking on the State of Affairs programme on AN Accra-based FM on Wednesday, 26 August 2020, called for regular updates from the OSP, which he said will enable citizens decipher for themselves if the SP’s office is, indeed, functional.
Mr Awunu said that: “If the office can come out regularly to update us per the law and say that: ‘This and this are the cases I’m handling’, ‘this and this are the levels of the case I’m handling; one is in court, two is here, this has been quashed or that’, that will give the citizens some feeling of [satisfaction].
“We, as a civil society, are saying when the law takes it course, and it comes to a conclusion, then we have some level of hope that indeed the processes are working, but when we are not in the known, when citizens are in the dark when it comes to such issues, that is when speculations of non-performance will come up.”
The GII Programme Officer further stated that: “The tag on the office of the Special Prosecutor that it is not working, it is basically because information flow is not coming. And when it comes, then we can now say this has delayed too much. It shows that you are not effectively working, or at least, we’re now aware that you are doing something and that is what we need.”
The flagbearer of the All People’s Congress (APC), Mr Hassan Ayariga, meanwhile, has said the office of the Special Prosecutor can only function properly if it is independent from the office of the Attorney General (AG).
Mr Ayariga said: “The President’s Special Prosecutor is under the office of the Attorney General and he gets his cases, all the cases and all his assignments come from the office of the Attorney General. If you have a Special Prosecutor who works under the office of the Attorney General, what do you think he is going to do. He still has to go through Attorney General’s office before he prosecutes. If you know he has to go through the Office of the Attorney General before he prosecutes, why then did you bring that office. Allow the Attorney General’s Office to do those prosecutions.”
He has, therefore, promised that his party will ensure that the AG’s office is delinked from that of the Special Prosecutor.
“The APC manifesto and Hassan Ayariga’s manifesto is that we believe in an Independent Special Prosecutor. The Independent Special Prosecutor is autonomous, he has so much power, he does not work under anybody’s office, he’s on his own. So even you as President, when you misbehave, you’ll be called to check on. So that is why we have a Special Prosecutor who is very intelligent but has no work to do, because his boss will not give him the work to do.”