The Special Prosecutor nominee, Kissi Agyebeng, has no intentions of resorting to the strategies of his predecessor, Martin Amidu in fighting corruption in Ghana.
Mr. Agyebeng, during his vetting in Parliament on Thursday, July 22, 2021, said he intends to rely on his own experiences and professional training to effectively deliver on his mandate as a Special Prosecutor.
Kissi Agyebeng said this in response to a question posed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who sought to find out how prepared he was in filling the “heavy shoes of Martin Alamisi Amidu given his enormous experience and background.
Responding to Mr. Iddrisu’s question, Mr. Agyebeng said: “There was a reference to filling the heavy shoes of a named individual [Martin Amidu], but I will prefer to wear my own shoes in the sense that, I’m my own man, and I am coming with my own experiences and professional training. In this quest, my conscience and learning of the law are going to be my guide – Kissi Agyebeng, Special Prosecutor nominee.”
‘I can’t stop corruption
On fighting corruption, Mr. Agyebeng said he will rather focus on making it difficult to engage in the canker than placing emphasis on stopping it.
“I am not naive to assume that I am coming to stop corruption. There’s no way I can stop corruption. God himself will not acclaim to that but, I am going to make corruption very costly to engage in.”
“First, I am going to institute what I call ‘Pressure for Progress’ and in this quest, there will be a systemic review of all public sector institutions and the development of integrity plans.”
Agyebeng’s alleged connection to government
Political activists and observers had expressed concerns about Agyebeng’s connection with the top officials of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) including Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and Godfred Dame, the Attorney General, following his nomination as Special Prosecutor.
Martin Amidu had insisted that the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame, had nominated Mr. Agyebeng due to their personal relationship as friends and former classmates.
While describing Kissi Agyebeng as a surrogate of Africa Legal Associates, a firm founded by the President’s cousin, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Mr. Amidu also cast doubts about Kissi Agyebeng’s ability to independently and impartially handle corruption cases due to his role as counsel for some persons and institutions engaged in alleged corrupt acts.
“Asaase Radio and the nominator of the proposed new Special Prosecutor know or ought to have known the extent of the involvement of their surrogate as a lawyer for suspects in pending suspected corruption cases in which the Government showed an undue interest in the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which I await to see how independently and impartially those cases will be handled to the conclusion should the President submit the name of the nominee to Parliament, he is approved, and then appointed,” he said.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, nominated Mr. Agyebeng, a law lecturer and private legal practitioner, as a replacement for Martin Amidu, who resigned from the position in November 2020 under very controversial circumstances.
About Kissi Agyebeng
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.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor has the mandate to investigate and prosecute all suspected corruption and corruption-related offenses 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 offenses.
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 offenses 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).