The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has said he will work hard to ensure that corruption in Ghana, which he likened to a pandemic, is suppressed and repressed.
“I come into this office and pledge to the people of Ghana as I said exactly two weeks ago, that I am going to work assiduously [and] with deliberation to suppress and repress corruption,” Agyebeng said after he had been sworn in to office by President Akufo-Addo at Jubilee House in Accra on Thursday 5 August.
For his part, President Akufo-Addo, after administering the Oath of Allegiance, the Official Oath and the Oath of Secrecy to the new Special Prosecutor, said that his government will offer the Office of the Special Prosecutor all the assistance it needs to fight corruption in Ghana.
“I want to assure Kissi Agyebeng, like I assured his predecessor, that not only will the executive, including the Attorney General, respect scrupulously the independence of his office, but [we will] also provide him with whatever assistance will be required to enable him to discharge his high duties effectively in the interest of the Ghanaian people,” the president said.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame, wrote on 16 April 2021 to Akufo-Addo nominating Agyebeng to serve as Special Prosecutor, in line with Section 13(1) and (2) of Act 959.
The appointments committee of Parliament on Thursday 22 July 2021 vetted and approved Agyebeng. On 30 July Parliament approved his nomination.
Agyebeng leaves private legal practice as the managing partner at Cromwell Gray LLP, after nearly 19 years at the Ghana Bar, to serve in his new position.
Act 959, which establishes the Office of the Special Prosecutor, spells out three main objectives of the office.
These are: to investigate and prosecute alleged corruption or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences; to recover the proceeds of corruption and corruption-related offences; and to take steps to prevent corruption.
Functions of the OSP
The functions entrusted to the Office are:
(a) the investigation and prosecution of cases of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences under the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663);
(b) the investigation and prosecution of cases of alleged corruption and corruption-related offences under the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) involving public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector involved in the commission of the offence;
(c) investigation and prosecution of cases of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences involving public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector involved in the commission of the offence under any other relevant law;
(d) recover and manage the proceeds of corruption;
(e) disseminate information gathered in the course of investigation to competent authorities and other persons the Office considers appropriate in connection with the offences specified in paragraphs (a) and (b);
(f) co-operate and coordinate with competent authorities and other relevant local and international agencies in furtherance of the act; and
(g) receive and investigate complaints from a person on a matter that involves or may involve corruption and corruption-related offences.