SPECIAL PROSECUTER CLARIFY THE MISCONCEPTION ABOUT HIS JURISDICTION AND MANDATE OF HIS OFFICE

The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has cautioned the general public 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.”

“Such continued misrepresentation of the jurisdiction of the Office to the public is responsible in part for the acceptance by some members of the public that the Office is not meeting the expectations for which reason they advocated for its establishment and the appointment of the Special Prosecutor.”

“It cannot go outside its remit unless Section 79 of Act 959 which deliberately narrowly defines corruption and corruption-related offences is amended to make it consistent with international conventions on corruption, which Ghana has voluntarily ratified and to which it is a party.”

He also outlined some cases that were beyond his remit like “alleged commission of offences contained in any draft or final 1999 Forensic Audits of SSNIT reports by an alleged Minister in the Government, the Senior Minister’s Forensic Audit reports, the recent Bank Scandals, and the BOST allegations.”

The full article can be viewed here

He noted that recently, his office has “probably with all good intentions, been misrepresented, to the public and creating in their minds the belief that the Office has [the] power to investigate and prosecute fraud, and generally financial and economic crimes.”

He referenced the reported petitioning of his office by the Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG) over the suspension of the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession agreement to investigate possible fraud.

But Mr. Amidu reminded that section 79 of Act 959 “severely restricts” the jurisdiction of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to fight corruption and corruption-related offences.

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