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While many say, and rightly, that the fight against corruption will not be achieved by a single official or office, many more yet still agree, that a well-resourced office of a Special Prosecutor, given the mandate of the office will strike blows against graft and put the ‘fear of God’ into public service holders, for which reason many Ghanaians commended the Akufo-Addo government for its creation.
However, a month into office, a heavily hindered Martin Amidu is yet to take off, a CitiNews report by Umaru Sanda Amadu said.
MYNEWSGH.com’s follow up reveals the report is as accurate as it could be, and the infrastructure concerned, given the scope and mandate of Mr Martin Amidu’s Special Prosecutor job, could pass for a hencoop located more out of protection from the vagaries of the weather than for a useful national security job, with many, many Ghanaians wondering where the initial resolve for fighting graft using the Office of the Special Prosecutor went to, a month on?
The general condition of the house is at best, decrepit, and at worst a hencoop. In its current state, MYNEWSGH.com considers the building unfit, not secured and improper by all standards to accommodate the office of the Special Prosecutor, even temporarily.
Mr Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor month on, is yet to show any signs of starting work, neither has his board being put in place or better, discussions of the recruitment of staff to keep the uncompleted, worn out ‘hencoop’ busy.
President Nana Akufo-Addo gave his Presidential Assent to five Bills on 2nd January 2018, but the one most Ghanaians remember and followed is that which established the Office of the Special Prosecutor, following its passage by Parliament on November 14.
The specialised agency, high expectations held, is to investigate acts of corruption involving public officers, politically exposed persons, and persons in the private sector involved in the commission of corruption. The office also has the power to prosecute persons engaged in acts of corruption on the authority of the Attorney-General.
“My hope and expectation is that the establishment of this Office is going to be an important step in our collective determination to root out corruption from the public life of our country. All of us know that it has been a major bane in the development of Ghana.
“And hopefully this Office as it is intentioned, will make that contribution and make sure that public officials -past and present- are held to account to for their actions and that corrupt acts will no longer go without investigations,” President Akufo-Addo said when he signed the bill.
At the swearing-in ceremony of the Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu at the Flagstaff house, the President repeated:
“We expect the Special Prosecutor to discharge his duties vigorously, with courage, without fear or favour, ill-will or malice, in accordance with the rule of law. The establishment of this Office is for a high purpose, and must not, under any circumstances, be used as an avenue for persecution or vengeance,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo further noted that “the overwhelming, popular acceptance by the good people of Ghana, and the strong consensus approval by Parliament, of Mr. Amidu’s nomination justify the confidence I repose in him.” He said.
“The Ghanaian people expect the Office of the Special Prosecutor to rise to the occasion, and collaborate with other existing law enforcement agencies, to fight relentlessly, and help eliminate corruption in our public life“, he added.
But in all this, the question being asked is, ‘when?’.