The Director of Legal Affairs for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Abraham Amaliba says the Special Prosecutor-nominee, Kissi Agyebeng lacks the political clout to fight public sector corruption.
“I’ve worked with him before, and he is a moderate person, not the hawkish type. What I can say about him is that he has the intellectual capacity to man that office because he is a criminal law lecturer but what he lacks is the public and political clout to fight public sector corruption. I’m doing this by comparing him to his predecessor, Mr. Martin Amidu because during his [Amidu’s] previous life he fought corruption but Kissi Agyabeng doesn’t have that,” Amaliba said.
Mr. Amaliba made the remark on Citi TV‘s Breakfast Daily show on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
The Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, nominated the law lecturer and private legal practitioner as the replacement for Martin Amidu, who resigned from the position in November 2020.
Parliament is yet to set a date for his vetting.
If approved, Mr. Agyebeng will be Ghana’s second Special Prosecutor since the office was established in 2017.
After Agyebeng’s name was announced, several persons have shared their opinions on the appointment, with some claiming he is too young to fight graft in Ghana.
Mr. Amaliba however disagreed with such suggestions.
“I disagree with those who say he is too young. What is the age of his boss [Godfred Dame]?. So I disagree with those who say he is too young and that he cannot do the work. My only problem is his closeness to Mr. Dame [the Attorney General] because we need an independent-minded person to deal with that office.”
Section 13(8) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) requires the President to appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor within six months of the Office becoming vacant.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor has the mandate to investigate and prosecute all suspected corruption and corruption-related offences as pertaining to public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector alleged to have been involved in any corruption and corruption-related offences.
Apart from initiating investigations on its own, Act 959 gives the Office of the Special Prosecutor the power to receive and investigate complaints of alleged corruption from the public or investigate suspected corruption or corruption-related offences upon referral from public bodies such as the Attorney General’s Department, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
Kissi Agyebeng was called to the Ghana Bar in October 2003 and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Ghana, as well as Master of Laws (LLM) degrees from Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada and Cornell Law School, USA.
He has, since 2006, been teaching Criminal Law at the University of Ghana, whilst engaging in private law practice.