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General News of Thursday, 9 May 2019

Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

We’ll publish corruption cases soon - Office of Special Prosecutor

The Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) will soon publish the cases it is working on, the Board Chairman of the OSP, Linda Ofori Kwafo, has revealed.

Doing this, she said, would be in line with SECTION 3 (3) of the OSP Act 2017 (Act 959) which mandates the office to on a quarterly basis; publish in at least two daily newspapers with nationwide circulation and on the website of the Office, what it was doing.

Required to be published according to the Act include “the list of corruption cases investigated and prosecuted by the Office” and “the number of convictions secured in respect of the cases prosecuted”.

Mrs Kwafo’s revelation comes days after the Communications Director of the governing New Patriotic Party and Member of Parliament for Adenta, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, expressed worry over the seeming inaction of the OSP more than a year after its establishment.

“I am aware that the Special Prosecutor wants to establish an institution … a solid institution that will stand the test of time,” he said, “but, I think that office should also be aware that there’s a certain public impatience about seeing something done,” Mr Asamoa said in an interview with Accra based, Starr FM.

The first-term lawmaker further urged the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to “demonstrate some readiness…..(and) make some pronouncements. I think some sort of status report at this stage may help us.”

Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, however, Madam Ofori Kwafo said the Office would in no time comply with the provisions of the Act.

“Not long from now, a list (of what the OSP is doing) will be published,” she stated.

According to her, publishing the list would only fuel accountability at the OSP and engender trust in the anti-graft agency.

The challenge, however, the OSP Board Chair acknowledged was that, as a new entity, the Office requires time to get going as preparatory works were needed for the anti-corruption agency to fully start work.

Some of these preparatory works include the appointment of staff members and the constitution of a board of directors as required of a public state institution for the smooth operation of the OSP.

Noting the expectation of Ghanaians in relation to the mandate of the Martin Amidu led OSP, Mrs Kwafo said, Parliament should have given the office a grace period for it to adequately move into action.

Though this grace period escaped everyone connected to the formation of the OSP law, Mrs Kwafo, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International, said the office was working assiduously to get the list published “soon”.

The OSP, Mrs Kwafo said had started investigating some matters bordering on corruption but could only prosecute those cases based on facts than sentiments of people.

She said the high expectations of Ghanaians of the OSP in fighting corruption, justifiably so, were not properly managed hence the clamour from people to see what the Office was doing.