- Justice Yaw Appau has stated that the Office of the Special Prosecutor is not independent
- As a result, the office cannot effectively fight public corruption
- President Akufo-Addo has accepted the nomination of his Special Prosecutor
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Justice Yaw Appau says the Office of the Special Prosecutor lacks the necessary independence to effectively fight corruption.
Speaking at the 8th edition of the Leadership Dialogue Series organised by the Centre for Social Justice, the Supreme Court Judge and former Sole Judgement Debt Commissioner said many Ghanaians thought the office will be the final antidote to public corruption, particularly political ones.
“The expectation of many Ghanaians was that political appointees and public officials who had been named or accused of corrupt acts during our political party campaigns and in the media would be prosecuted and punished if found culpable. But that was far from right,” he stated.
According to him, with the Attorney-General doubling as the Justice Minister, there’s no way the Special Prosecutor can prosecute government officials without the necessary approval from the Attorney General.
Justice Appau further argued that the Act establishing the office gives the Special Prosecutor limited role in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases, asking, “who decides on the specific cases to be investigated and prosecuted?”
“In fact, the special prosecutor has no independence whatsoever. He is subject to the authority of the Attorney-General,” he stated.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo accepted the nomination of Kissi Agyebeng as Ghana’s next Special Prosecutor, YEN.com.gh reported earlier.
This was after the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, launched a scathing attack on Agyebeng for being nominated for the office of the special prosecutor.
Amidu, who resigned as the country’s first Special Prosecutor in the runup to the crucial 2020 general elections over “political interference” warned in his latest epistles that Ghanaians must be worried over the nomination of Agyebeng.
In a statement on Thursday, May 6, 2021, the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, said a letter has been sent to the Speaker of Parliament to that effect to seek parliamentary approval in accordance with the law.
In other news on YEN.com.gh, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, a member of the seven-member panel that sat on the 2020 election petition, said the Supreme Court expected the petitioner to provide pink sheets supporting his allegations of electoral irregularities and lack of a clear winner in the presidential poll.
Former President John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) petitioned the apex court after rejecting the outcome of the presidential polls.
He argued in his petition that the December 9 declaration by the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo won the presidential election was flawed.
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According to him, there was no winner in the election, and that the Supreme Court should set aside the EC chairperson’s declaration and order for a rerun between him and the president.
The Apex Court, however, dismissed the petition, stating that it cannot order a rerun of the 2020 presidential polls.
The panel held that the former president failed to adduce “cogent evidence” to back his claims that there was no winner in the December 7, 2020, presidential elections.