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General News of Monday, 13 May 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Pace of work at OSP: Government has not done enough - Vitus Azeem

An anti-corruption crusader has blamed the slow pace of work at the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) on the government.

According to Vitus Azeem, the public expectation that has not been met must be blamed on the appointing authority which has the power to allocate money and resources to OSP.

“It also means our expectations of the appointing authority have not been met and it means words are not matching actions,” he told Daniel Dadzie, host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday.

On Thursday, July 12, 2018, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, swore-into office the Governing Board of the Office of Special Prosecutor.

At a brief ceremony at the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo noted that, as required by the dictates of the Special Prosecutor’s Act, Act 915, of 2017, “the Office is fully functional.”

Among other things, the Special Prosecutor is empowered to investigate political corruption and receive petitions from citizens to initiate investigations.

However, one year on, the Special Prosecutor has only one lawyer and has filed only one case in court.

According to Mr. Vitus Azeem, the public is disappointed by the slow pace of work given that OSP was part of the government’s priority list during the last elections.

Despite the many challenges which have bedevilled that office, he was hoping that “by this time one or two people will be in jail and some monies recouped.”

But Azeem will not blame the Office of Special Prosecutor for the delays. He suspects that like other government agencies, that office is struggling to access resources that have been voted to it given the many bureaucratic processes associated with government business.



He reminds the government that “the Office of Special Prosecutor requires special attention and must not be treated like other ministries”

Meanwhile, the Government has allocated GH¢180 million to the Special Prosecutor’s Office to be used to resource the office and strengthen it to fight corruption.

The Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, who announced this in the presentation of the 2019 Budget to Parliament added that the government was also prepared to “provide additional resources during the course of 2019 to enable the Special Prosecutor’s Office to carry out its mandate.”