The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has criticized the passing of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) Act 2017 (Act 959), calling it an exercise in futility. He argued that the powers given to the Special Prosecutor should have been entrusted to a non-partisan Attorney-General instead. Bagbin revealed that he had expressed these views during discussions on the OSP bill, but they were ultimately rejected. He made these remarks with a sense of vindication on the floor of Parliament.
‘As for the law you passed on the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, I did tell you that it was an act in futility, you were not going to achieve anything but you went ahead and passed it,” he said on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. The incumbent Special Prosecutor, Mr. Kissi Agyebeng, recently lamented the challenges with his work after losing a series of cases in court.
He described the situation as a developing trend of regressive and dismissive judicial decisions in respect of cases involving his outfit.
Mr. Agyebeng noted that these developments, “portends a disturbing spectre that could hamper the fight against corruption to the disbenefit of us all.”
Mr Agyebeng enumerated four instances of judicial decisions against the OSP to buttress his claim.
It would be recalled that in fulfillment of a campaign promise by the NPP in the run up to the 2016 election, the law creating the Office of the Special Prosecutor was passed in 2017. Martin Amidu was the first occupant of the office, but he resigned months before the 2020 election.
The OSP has the object of investigating and prosecuting specific cases of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offenses in the public and private sectors, recovering the proceeds of such acts by disgorging illicit and unexplained wealth and taking steps to prevent corruption.
However, Mr Bagbib believes a separate Minister for Justice who is a politician, should have been created instead.