Reports confirm that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Dame, has written to the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to nominate Kissi Agyebeng to serve as Special Prosecutor, subject to approval by Parliament.
The Office of the President received the nomination on 16 April 2021, highly placed sources in the Attorney General’s office told Asaase News.
Mr Agyebeng, who currently serves as the chairman of the Electronic Communications Tribunal is also a known lawyer of Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, cousin to President Akufo-Addo.
The 43-year-old legal practitioner and managing partner at Cromwell Gray LLP could replace Martin Amidu, who resigned in November 2020, citing “executive interference” with his work. The Office of the President denied his allegations, saying he was given the free hand and resources to operate.
The law compels the president to appoint a Special Prosecutor within six months of the position being vacant. Asaase News over the weekend reported that Nana Akufo-Addo would be naming the new Special Prosecutor soon following the AG’s nomination.
As a result of the events of 16 November 2020, Jane Cynthia Naa Koshie Lamptey, the Deputy Special Prosecutor, has been serving in an acting capacity, in accordance with Section 17 (3) of Act 959, which states: “The Deputy Special Prosecutor shall act in the absence of the Special Prosecutor or in the event of a vacancy in the position of the Special Prosecutor.”
She has held the fort for over five months.
Our checks suggest that, although happy to play the acting role, the experienced prosecutor has made it clear that she will not be interested in a permanent elevation.
The OSP’s mandate
Act 959, which establishes the Office of the Special Prosecutor, spells out three main objectives of the Office, namely:
(i) investigate and prosecute alleged corruption or suspected corruption and corruption related offences;
(ii) recover the proceeds of corruption and corruption related offences; and
(iii) take steps to prevent corruption.
Functions of the OSP
Among the functions entrusted to the Office of the Special Prosecutor are:
(a) the investigation and prosecution of cases of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption related offences under the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663); and
(b) investigation and prosecution of cases of alleged corruption and corruption related offences under the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) involving public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector involved in the commission of the offence.
(c) Investigation and prosecution of cases of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption related offences involving public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector involved in the commission of the offence under any other relevant law;
(d) recover and manage the proceeds of corruption;
(e) disseminate information gathered in the course of investigation to competent authorities and other persons the Office considers appropriate in connection with the offences specified in paragraphs (a) and (b).
The Office of Special Prosecutor is to further:
(f) co-operate and coordinate with competent authorities and other relevant local and international agencies in furtherance of the act; and
(g) receive and investigate complaints from a person on a matter that involves or may involve corruption and corruption-related offences.