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General News of Friday, 16 August 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Amidu tempers expectations, reminds of limitations of Special Prosecutor Office

Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has again reminded that notion that his office possesses unbridled powers to fight corruption is far from reality.

Speaking at an Audit Service forum on Thursday, he referenced section 79 of the Special Prosecutor Act which limits the jurisdiction of his office

According to him, a section of the Act that established his office, limits the powers of the office, thereby curtailing the effectiveness of its fight against corruption.

He says it is for this reason that his office appears to be doing less than what is expected.

“The powers we were given were so elaborate but what they did was that they embedded a section called the interpretation section so they said you have powers and you can catch anybody. But if you go to the interpretation section, you will see that the powers of the office are strictly circumscribed.”

Mr. Amidu also had subtle criticism for legislators who criticise his lack of action saying: “even those who cast the section 79 go to the public media and condemn the office for not doing things… so this is addressed to the average person expecting more than we can give.”

Earlier in August, in the heat of the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession controversy, Mr. Amidu who was petitioned to probe the fiasco cautioned against wrongly interpreting the jurisdiction and mandate of his office.

In an article, Mr. Amidu said such misrepresentations could skew the expectations of his office by the public.

He also said the “deliberate misperception about the jurisdiction of the Office is one sure way those who fear anti-corruption activism can kill trust in the Office.”

This is after a number of petitions had come his way on issues of national interest that were not within his mandate like the reports of possible corruption in the PDS deal.