President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Thursday sworn into office the New Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, with a charge to him to fight corruption independently and impartially.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra, at which the Oaths of Secrecy, Allegiance, and Office were administered to Mr Agyebeng, President reminded the Special Prosecutor, that, as per the act establishing the Office, the onerous was on him to have full authority on the control over investigations, initiation and conduct of proceedings of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences involving public officers, and persons in the private sector, in the performance of their functions and business.
He told Mr Agyebeng that the wide acceptance of his nomination by the Ghanaian people, and the nature of his performance during his approval process in Parliament, are indications that the confidence reposed in him to discharge that critical function of the state was not misplaced, adding that he was “eminently qualified” to occupy the Office of Special Prosecutor, and “he has the capacity, the experience, the requisite values, and intellectual strength to succeed in this vital position.”
The President, who stressed the genuineness of the commitment of the government to create an independent non-partisan body with the relevant professional capability to lead the fight against corruption, and hold public officials, past and present, accountable for their stewardship of public finances, said in spite of the unfortunate events that led to the departure of the first occupant of the office, “I do not regret making that appointment.”
“On my part as the President on the Republic, I ensured that Office was adequately resourced to enable it to carry out its mandate,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo assured Mr Agyebeng that just as he provided support to his predecessor, he would ensure that his office was truly independent, and given all the needed assistance to enable the effective discharge of his duties.
“I am very much aware that activities of his office, no matter how vigorous, cannot provide the entire panacea to the problem of corruption, it must be supported by other institutions and the cooperation of all…Indeed all institutions of State will work and cooperate with him,” he added.
He said Government will continue to give stronger budgetary assistance to all other constitutionally mandated institutions that hold the government accountable and help fight corruption.
Mr Agyebeng thanked the President for the confidence reposed in him and pledged to work assiduously to suppress corruption to the barest minimum.
“I come into this office and pledge to the people of Ghana, as I said exactly two weeks ago that I am willing to work assiduously with deliberation to suppress and repress corruption. I said two weeks ago in Parliament that I will not be naïve to assume that I am coming to stop corruption. It is lit in humans, but as much as possible my office is going to drive it down and repress it to its barest minimum,” he said.
Mr Agyebeng, 43, a private legal practitioner, was nominated for the position last April by the Attorney General, Godfred Dame, when the first Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu unexpectedly resigned from that office in November last year.
Mr Dame in his letter the President nominating Agyebeng, stated that his nominee, who possessed the requisite expertise on corruption and all related matters, was of high moral character and proven integrity, and satisfied all the requirements to occupy that office.
Thus, the President accepted his nomination, per the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959), which mandates him to appoint a new Special Prosecutor, within six months of the office being vacant, and subsequently referred same to Parliament for vetting and approval.
Parliament’s Appointments Committee on July 22, 2021, after a three-hour rigorous vetting process, unanimously approved Mr Agyebeng as the Special Prosecutor.
Mr Agyebeng was called to the Ghana Bar in October 2003. He 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 practicing law privately and teaching Criminal Law at the University of Ghana.