PIAC to get Prosecutorial Powers against Officials who abuse Oil Funds 

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Parliament is ready to approve and support the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) with all the needed powers and authority to prosecute officials from both Public and private sectors who would be found to have misappropriated public funds.

The Member of Parliament for Damongo and ranking member of the Parliamentary select committee on Mines and Energy, Adam Mutawakilu who revealed this in an interview with the media said this is needed to bring sanity into the system and to deter people from abusing Ghana’s oil revenue.

“I will support any move by PIAC to gain prosecutorial powers to prosecute people who abuse our oil revenue. PIAC must bring a Bill to parliament regarding this and we will approve it without interrogation. We give them our full support,” he stated.

His statement comes in the wake of calls by a section of the public for the government to make amendments to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act to give the Public Interest and Accountability Committee prosecutorial powers to enable it haul corrupt officials from both public and private institutions before court when they are found to have misapplied or stolen oil funds.

Relatively, Dr Steve Manteaw, a member of PIAC said giving PIAC such powers to investigate and prosecute offenders would help strengthen and promote transparency and accountability in the sector.

According to him, many wrongful transactions have been undertaking in the oil sector and not a single person has been prosecuted though there are enough evidence available to prosecute such people.

According to him, the process of handing over evidence to the prosecutors after Police investigations and all the delayed processes give opportunity to people to abuse the system. He said if PIAC, a statutory body is given prosecutorial powers, it would instantly process individuals and institutions to court.

The PIAC was established under Section 51 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), to among others, monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act. As a statutory institution it is committed to ensuring efficient, transparent and accountable management of petroleum revenues and investments. However, the PIAC lacks the legal wherewithal to prosecute people who misappropriate Ghana’s oil revenue allocations.

Source: Adu Koranteng

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