The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has pleaded with all anti-corruption and civil society groups to help enlighten ordinary members of the public about the limited jurisdiction of his office so that they do not lose confidence in him.
In an article titled, THE OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR HAS NO JURISDICTION TO INVESTIGATE FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC CRIMES – THE PDS CASE, Mr Amidu explained that his office has no jurisdiction to investigate certain financial and economic crimes.
He said he was aware of a petition by the Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG) to the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the circumstances leading to the suspension of the Power Distribution Services concession agreement”.
However, Mr Amidu stressed that section 79 of Act 959 (Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017) “severely restricts” the jurisdiction of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to fight certain corruption and corruption-related offences.
“The truth is that section 79 of Act 959 severely restricts the jurisdiction of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to fight corruption and corruption-related offences in Ghana unlike in other countries that are fully committed to and adhere to their obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the ECOWS Protocol on the Fight against Corruption in their domestic anti-corruption legislations. The ruling of the High Court in the case of the Republic v Ayariga and 1 Other, 17th July 2019, High Court, Accra, (Unreported) underscored the point I have made on the remit of the Office to a limited extent only based on lack of detailed particulars and should be a guide to the public: I annex a scanned PDF of the ruling as a separate attachment to this paper for educational purposes,” Mr Amidu writes.
“I have severally explained why the Office of the Special Prosecutor cannot investigate the alleged commission of offences contained in any draft or final 1999 Forensic Audits of SSNIT reports by an alleged Minister in the Government, the Senior Minister’s Forensic Audit reports, the recent Bank Scandals, and the BOST allegations which do not point directly to the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences”. – Graphic Online