Refurbishment works have stalled on the 2-storey state property located next to International Press Centre at Ridge, meant to serve as the new office for the Special Prosecutor (SP), as the contractor has abandoned site.
The abandonment of the project exposes the Akufo-Addo government as only engaging in pure rhetoric and paying lip service to the commitment to fight corruption and graft.
Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu himself has also been complaining about the government’s commitment to the corruption fight, part of which has to do with his (Amidu’s) inability to access GH¢180 million that has been budgeted for use by his office in the 2019 Budget Statement, arguing that it has hampered his fight against corruption.
“You say you have given GH¢180 million. I cannot access the GH¢180 million because as we speak today, my office has not been classified for procurement purposes. So, I cannot procure cars myself, I cannot procure equipment myself. I can procure nothing,” he lamented on Time With David show.
The Catalyst paid a visit to the Ridge project site to ascertain the level of work on the new office structure that began some time ago, after the Akufo-Addo government announced it had identified a new and bigger structure for occupation by the Special Prosecutor.
Reliable sources have revealed to the paper that the contractor executing the project and his workers left the site about a year ago and had since not returned.
An observation of the project site shows the security wall being constructed around the building has stalled as there is little to be seen in terms of renovation work on the main building itself.
One other striking indication is the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s January 16, 2019 dated “STOP WORK & PRODUCE PERMIT” notices scripted on both the security wall and the building itself.
A mechanic who would not speak to this paper was seen busily attending to some vehicles parked within the premises of the building, which apparently has been turned into a mechanic shop.
The compound of the abandoned office structure is also overgrown by weeds.
Prior to the commencement of the rehabilitation works in 2018, Engineers from the Architecture and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) who were on site said the project will take six months to complete.
Indications of approval of funds for the rehabilitation works on the building was also given.
The Special Prosecutor had been upbeat about moving to his new office after the report of being locked out of his current office and had had to operate from his Secretary’s office.
According to Citi News’ Caleb Kudah, it was not the first time the Special Prosecutor or his staff had been locked out due to a faulty security door at the Labone office and that the Special Prosecutor was looking forward to moving into a new office.
“I don’t know where that type of security doors were gotten from. You don’t know how they were put up. You don’t know who put them up. You don’t know the security nature of it. Fortunately, the Secretary is not in so I chose to come here because I have a meeting with some people. There is a problem with the whole of this building. Fortunately, the president has instructed that a new accommodation be given to us. There are defects there which are being corrected. That is what is delaying” Martin Amidu told Citi News’ Caleb Kudah.
“I am just sitting here hoping that they will call those who originally are responsible for putting up this building to come and look at what is happening to this building. It is not the first time this is happening. Several people have visited me including ambassadors and when they are about to go out, they cannot open from inside. We have to call someone to open from outside,” the Special prosecutor added.
Martin Amidu said his office needed a large facility that can house all the needed operational units to make his work effective, expressing regret that currently only the investigative aspect of the office functions.
Source: Koku Mawuli Nanegbe || The Catalyst