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Francis-Xavier Sosu: Kissi Agyebeng will succeed as special prosecutor

Francis-Xavier Sosu, the MP for Madina on police officers

Francis-Xavier Sosu, MP for Madina

Francis-Xavier Sosu, the MP for Madina has said he is confident the Special Prosecutor nominee Kissi Agyebeng will succeed.

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Friday (23 July) with Nana Yaa Mensah, Sosu said: “I think that I see a calmer demeanor and for me that is what will win the day for Kissi Agyebeng.

“It is not about how robust, how loud you sound when it comes to corruption related matters. I think that the first prosecutor came with his own expectations, he has given his reasons for which he didn’t perform and I am not in a position to challenge those position.”

He added “What I am confident about is that Kissi Agyebeng as he told the committee is that he is going to be his own man.”

Sosu, who doubles as a member of the Appointments Committee of Parliament and also a former student of Agyebeng, said the nominee has the requisite skills and knowledge to fight corruption.

“He is coming with new ideas to fight the issues of corruption; he understands the practical challenges that we have. This is somebody I have sat under as a student before.”

New journey

If approved, Agyebeng, a 43-year-old legal practitioner who is the managing partner at Cromwell Gray LLP, will become the second person to occupy the post of special prosecutor since the law establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor (Act 959) came into force in 2017.

Martin Amidu, the country’s first special prosecutor, resigned from office on 16 November 2020, 21 days to the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Amidu cited “alleged executive interference” with his work. The Office of the President denied the allegations, arguing that he was given a free hand and the resources to operate.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame, wrote to President Akufo-Addo on 16 April 2021, nominating Kissi Agyebeng to serve as special prosecutor, in line with Section 13(1) and (2) of Act 959.

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 to that position, subject to approval by Parliament, within six months of the position becoming vacant.

Acting Special Prosecutor

Following Martin Amidu’s resignation on 16 November 2020, Ms Jane Cynthia Naa Koshie Lamptey, the deputy special prosecutor, has filled the role in an acting capacity.

This is in accordance with Section 17 (3) of Act 959, which states: “The Deputy Special Prosecutor shall act in the absence of the Special Prosecutor or in the event of a vacancy in the position of the Special Prosecutor.”

She has held the fort for over five months.

OSP’s mandate

Act 959, which establishes the Office of the Special Prosecutor, spells out three main objectives of the office, namely:

(i) investigate and prosecute alleged corruption or suspected corruption and corruption related offences,

(ii) recover the proceeds of corruption and corruption related offences, and

(iii) 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) 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).

Further, the Office of Special Prosecutor is to:

(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.

Fred Dzakpata 

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