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General News of Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Special Prosecutor's office not to blame for lack of prosecution – Vitus Azeem

An anti-corruption campaigner, Vitus Azeem, has said that the government should be blamed for the low public confidence in the Office at the Special Prosecutor.

He said the government after setting up the Office and nominating Martin Amidu as the head of the office has failed to provide adequate resources to help the office function effectively.

Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of a roundtable discussion which sought to assess the performance of the Office one year after its establishment, Mr. Azeem said government should be committed to resourcing the office.

“The office has not been able to meet the expectations of the people. The impression that was created when Martin Amidu was appointed was we are going to see people go to jail and money being recovered. Unfortunately, the NPP has less than 2 years before the next elections and we haven’t yet seen that. I don’t think we can blame the office or the people in the office for this delay,” he said.

“I think it is a bit of inadequate commitment on the part of the government because the law was passed in December 2017 and one would have expected that there will be budgetary allocation to the office in 2018 but there was nothing in the 2018 budget for him. It is only this year [2019] that there was allocation,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr. Kojo Asante has suggested that President Akufo-Addo delegates his responsibility of appointing staff of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to the Special Prosecutor.

He said the Board of the Office must consider options of allowing people to support the office.

“In our view, the board should consider the development of a medium-term strategic plan that will document the activities for the office in the next three to five years and provide a framework for those who want to support the office over the medium term,” he said.