Fighting Corruption Caseley-Hayford against granting Auditor-General prosecutorial powers

Caseley-Hayford says there are a host of other state institutions, including the Attorney-General’s Department that are mandated to deal with corrupt public officials.

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A senior member of pressure group Occupy Ghana, Sydney Caseley-Hayford, has thrown cold water on the Auditor-General’s quest to be granted prosecutorial powers.

In his view, there are a host of other state institutions, including the Attorney-General’s Department that are mandated to deal with corrupt public officials.

READ ALSO: Auditor-General demands prosecutorial powers from Attorney-General

On Monday the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo revealed that he has written to the Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo, to request for prosecutorial powers over public officials who engage in corrupt practices.

Gloria Akuffo, Attorney General play

Gloria Akuffo, Attorney General

 

He explained that his request does not seek to undermine the Attorney-General’s office but to help out in bringing persons indicted in the Auditor-General’s report to book.

“If a fiat is given by the Attorney General to Audit Service just like it has been given to the police and others to prosecute…which I have actually applied for, you will see me in action,” Mr. Domelevo said.

However, speaking on the subject, Caseley-Hayford said granting the Auditor-General prosecutorial powers “will develop into a different arm of administration within the audit service and that might not be the best thing”.

He is, therefore, not enthused about Mr. Domelevo’s request, insisting there are many state institutions in charge of prosecution of corrupt public officials.

“The Auditor General has a legal department as part of the service which is like an advisory arm to tell him to make sure that he is on the straight and narrow when he is dealing with criminality. What I think is happening is that, he does have a direct conduit to the Attorney General for the Attorney General to actually go and surcharge people as he finds them. So once he’s done his disallowance and he surcharges you, he produces a docket and that docket goes to the Attorney General and the Attorney General will now be the prosecuting arm,” Caseley-Hayford said on the Citi Breakfast Show.

READ ALSO: ‘Cash For Seat’ report set for Parliamentary debate

“I’m sensing that where he’s going now is the pace at which he wants to move is not in tandem with the pace that the Attorney General is putting forward. So he’s getting a bit frustrated that he’s doing all these work and he is not seeing the prosecution coming through as fast as he wants. So he wants to have the opportunity to do them himself so he could actually guide the pace.

"I don’t think that is the right thing to do. I think that it will develop into a different arm of administration within the audit service and that might not be the best thing. He has EOCO, Attorney General, all of those arms that he can use in order to prosecute his cases. And I’m inclined at this time to think that he does not need to be given prosecutorial powers. He should put a lot more pressure on the AG and expect that the AG will carry it through.”

Meanwhile, another senior member of Occupy Ghana, Ace Akomah, believes it is in the right direction for the Auditor-General to request for powers to prosecute.

Ace Ankomah, legal practitioner play

Ace Ankomah, legal practitioner

 

According to him, the Auditor-General’s powers are “are limited to disallowing and surcharging, but if you read the reports from the Auditor General from over the years, you will weep at the blatant theft, the falsification of certificates, the fraudulent practices in the Auditor General’s report.”

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