Ranking Member on the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament says government is frustrating Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, to force him out of office.
Speaking during the consideration of the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s budget in Parliament, Bernard Ahiafor, argued that the Special Prosecutor’s recent lamentations simply point to a lack of support from various institutions for the OSP to fight corruption.
He noted that with the collective support of all other anti-graft public offices, the OSP will be unable to achieve anything worthwhile while in office.
“All institutions must come together to support the office of the special prosecutor. I believe strongly because the office of the special prosecutor is not getting institutional support. He had to do a press conference that he’s anko anoma, ode ne kora abo afore3, he’s walking alone, he’s sacrificing his life.
“If you listen to him, you can come to a conclusion that this is a statement made out of frustration. Mr. Speaker do we want a young man, 43 years, removed from the lecture theatre and the court room, appointed as the special prosecutor to also resign as a result of frustration?
“I believe that the first special prosecutor appointed similarly resigned and after resignation indicated that the president of the republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo is a mother serpent of corruption. Corruption affects everybody therefore the office of the special prosecutor needed all institutions to support him in order to support his function creditably,” he said.
But Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has been hitting back insisting the low release of budget funds to the office does not point to an attempt to frustrate the OSP.
Ursula Owusu argued that almost all MDAs do not get the full release of the amounts budgeted.
As long-standing members of this house, we’re all aware of the annual budget ritual where all ministries, departments and agencies decry the fact that despite their budget needs, almost invariably; they never get sufficient resources to enable them to prosecute their mandate.
“Every agency, ministry or department that appears before the committees of the house including the constitutional, legal and parliamentary affairs committee faces that situation.
“So I’m very surprised that the ranking member will seek to intimate the budget allocation to the special prosecutor which is less than what he has requested as a result of government’s lack of commitment to fighting corruption. I don’t think that that can ever be the situation,” she said.
Earlier, Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin had described the setting up of the Office of the Special Prosecutor as an exercise in futility.
He suggested that the government should have instead decoupled the Attorney General’s Department from the Ministry of Justice.
Parliament approved 149 million cedis for the Office of the Special Prosecutor to spend in 2024.