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Office of the Special Prosecutor rendered toothless in fighting corruption — IEA

The effectiveness of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in combating corruption is perceived as lacking teeth to bite, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has said.

Kissi Agyebeng

During an IEA press briefing on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, Dr. John Kwakye, the Director of Research at IEA, addressed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), noting the absence of any mention of corruption.

Dr. Kwakye also raised serious doubts about the requirement for the Special Prosecutor to seek approval from the Attorney-General before initiating prosecutions, arguing that this aspect of the OSP Act is inherently flawed.

Addressing the issues that could bolster its ability to tackle corruption effectively, he proposed that the OSP could effectively combat corruption if its Act is revised and enacted without the influence of the Executive.

He said "Corruption is such an important issue in Ghana that it is inconceivable that the President would gloss over it. This Government established the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), ostensibly to act independently from the Attorney General (AG), who is inextricably linked to the Executive.

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"However, the OSP Act was flawed ab initio to the extent that the Special Prosecutor (SP) is nominated by the AG and appointed by the President, the SP needs the approval of the AG to initiate prosecutions and the OSP is funded by the Executive. It is no wonder that the OSP, which has been occupied by two SPs so far, has been rendered toothless.

"If the OSP is to be successful in fighting corruption, it would be important to re-enact its Act and remove it completely from the influence of the Executive, in terms of appointment, prosecution of cases and funding."

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