Ghana government allocates UD$38 million to Special Prosecutor to fight corruption

The swearing in of Martin Amidu marks the fulfilment of a major promise by the Akufo-Addo administration
The swearing in of Martin Amidu marks the fulfilment of a major promise by the Akufo-Addo administration

The government of Ghana has allocated an amount of Gh₵180 million or 38.30 million United States Dollars (USD) to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to fight corruption in the country.

Ken Ofori-Atta, the country’s Finance Minister announced here Thursday during the presentation of the 2019 Budget and Economic Policy of the government to the Parliament of Ghana.

The budget was under the theme: “A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity.”

He stated, “In line with government’s promise to protect the public purse, His Excellency the President remains committed to the fight against corruption.

In this budget, the Special Prosecutor’s Office has been allocated an amount of GH¢180 million or 38.30 million USD from the Government of Ghana (GoG).”

The Finance Minister assured the country’s Parliament and people of the government’s “commitment to provide additional resources during the course of 2019 to enable the Special Prosecutor’s Office to carry out its Mandate.”

The setting up of the Office of the Special Prosecutor was one of the key campaign promises made by then opposition leader and now president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ahead of the 2016 general election aimed at tackling public corruption.

Upon assumption of office, the country’s parliament passed the Office of Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 which was laid before the House on July 19, 2017 after more than 30 amendments had been made to the Bill.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office was established under the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act 2017 (Act 959) in 2018.

The OSP Office is to investigate and prosecute certain categories of cases and allegations of corruption and other criminal wrongdoing, including those involving alleged violations of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and cases implicating public officers and politically-exposed persons.

The Special Prosecutor is also be mandated to trace and recover the proceeds of corruption related activities.

Notwithstanding the rationale for the establishment and subsequent swearing in of anti-graft crusader, Martin A. B. K. Amidu, a former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice little had been heard of the mandate given to the office.

This attracted complaints from Amidu arguing the government had deliberately starved his office of funds hence not committed towards fighting corruption in the public sector.

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