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ASEPA petitions Special Prosecutor to probe Frontiers-Airport COVID-19 testing contract

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has petitioned the Special Prosecutor, Mr Kissi Agyebeng to investigate circumstances that led to the contractual agreement between the Frontiers Health Services contract and the Ghana Airport Company Limited with regards to the mandatory COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

The Frontiers Health Services was contracted to conduct mandatory COVID-19 tests for travelers at the airport at a cost of $150 per head.

There have been several concerns about the contractual agreement and cost of the test among others.

Latest to join the fray of concerned citizens is ASEPA.

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Kissi Agyabeng takes office as the second special prosecutor

President Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, August 5, officially swore into office, Kissi Agyebeng as the Special Prosecutor.

The 43-year-old Lawyer takes over from Martin Amidu who resigned from office in November 2020 after accusing the President of interference in his work.

Mr. Agyebeng was vested with the new authority on Thursday at the Jubilee House in the presence of the Chief of Staff, Attorney General, other government officials, and some traditional leaders.

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Fight corruption independently, impartially – Akufo-Addo tells Kissi Agyebeng

President Akufo-Addo has tasked the newly appointed Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, to fight corruption independently and impartially.

“I ask the new Special Prosecutor to bear in mind at all times that the Office carries an extraordinary responsibility to fight corruption independently and impartially. Indeed all institutions of state will work and cooperate with him in the same spirit which he articulated at his approval proceedings in Parliament,” President Akufo-Addo said this during the swearing-in of Kissi Agyebeng at the Jubilee House Thursday.

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Martin Amidu: Anti-corruption CSOs’ nomination onto OSP board mustn’t be rigged again

The public must be reminded that the three-year mandate of the Governing Board of the Office of the Special Prosecutor expired at midnight on 11″ July 2021 without word from the President or the Office to the public.

On Thursday, 12th July 2018 the Board of the Governing Board of the Office of the Special Prosecutor was sworn in by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, supposedly to make “the anti-corruption body now, fully ready to execute its mandate” (July 12, GNA).

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SONA 2021: GII asks government to show commitment to fight against corruption

The Ghana Integrity Initiative has asked government to show more commitment to the fight against corruption to build trust and public confidence.

“We have not seen much leadership in the fight against corruption in the country. We need to see bold initiatives from government through effective preventive mechanism against corruption and administrative sanction to deter potential corrupt officials”.

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Council of State cannot fight corruption – Vitus Azeem tells Akufo-Addo

Anti-Corruption campaigner and Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Vitus Azeem says he is not sure of the capacity of the Council of State in the fight against corruption.

He believes the Council can only contribute to the fight as an advisory body but has no powers to fight the menace as stated by President Akufo-Addo during their (Council of State) swearing-in ceremony.

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Special Prosecutor resignation furore at a glance

This country set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) with the hope that it can deal with grand corruption of politically exposed persons; and, for a long time we waited for the OSP to bite. Therefore, it was refreshing when Mr Amidu released the report of an analysis of the risk of corruption in the Agyapa Minerals Royalties transaction. 

It was instructive because it was the first time that an independent anti-corruption agency established by any government in Ghana had undertaken an analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption risk assessment of the processes leading up to the approval by parliament of public agreements as part of its statutory mandate.

Alas! The celebration lasted for only two weeks. On Monday, 16th November 2020, Mr Martin A.B.K. Amidu resigned from his post as Special Prosecutor. On Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo, through Chief of Staff Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, wrote back to Mr Amidu to accept his resignation. 

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Agyapa deal: Focus on the valuation not corruption angle – Franklin Cudjoe to Special Prosecutor

President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe has suggested that the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu be more focused on the assessment of the controversial Agyapa royalties deal, instead of looking solely at the corruption aspect.

According to him, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have, on several occasions, proven the real value of the royalties, pegging it between $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion.

Taking to his Facebook page to make his submission on the topic, Franklin Cudjoe said “I sincerely hope the Special Prosecutor is focused on the valuation of AGYAPA royalties. That is the most important issue, not the ‘corruption’ angle he seems to be interested in because frankly, he could simply pass the deal should documents he claims he hasn’t had, be handed to him. He must speak to the technical matter of valuation. CSOs have demonstrated enormous technical competence to show that the real value of the royalties for the assets under consideration is between $2.5bn to $3.5bn not the proposed and contracted $1bn by the finance ministry. I am watching the SP paaaa… He can reach out”.

His comments come after the Finance Ministry announced on Monday, October 5, 2020, the suspension of the launch of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Agyapa Royalties deal.

In a letter signed by the Deputy Finance Minister, Charles Adu-Boahen and addressed to the Office of the Special Prosecutor, it noted that the decision was resultant of a pending completion of a corruption risk assessment by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

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Would the Special Prosecutor please keep us updated on the corruption fight?

In my humble opinion, it was a step in the right direction when somewhere last year, the NPP Communication Director, the Honourable Yaw Buaben Asamoah called on the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu to keep Ghanaians updated on the progress of the corruption fight.

Dearest reader, you may agree to disagree, but I am of the opinion that the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu to the position of the Special Prosecutor with a mandate of investigating, prosecuting and retrieving stolen monies from greedy and corrupt public officials, is, arguably, the most important appointment by President Akufo-Addo thus far.

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Amidu eligible to be Special Prosecutor – Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court has in a majority 5:2 decision ruled that Martin Amidu is eligible to hold office as Special Prosecutor.

The decision read by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah means the retirement age for employees of public service does not apply to the office of Special Prosecutor.

Former Deputy Attorney General Dr. Dominic Ayine who filed the case said per the true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1)(d), 199(1) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retirement age of all holders of public offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1)(d) is 60 years, and not beyond 65 years.

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