Office Of Selective Prosecution (1)

 Kissi Agyebeng


Corruption has been identified by the people as a major obstacle to our development process. Every year, billions of cedis are lost through the reckless dissipation of public funds by politicians and most especially civil servants.

We do not need to look far to establish this fact as annually the Auditor General’s Report capture billions of cedis that public servants cannot account for.

For this reason successive regimes from the advent of the Fourth Republic have tried to uproot the malfeasance from the conduct of our public life. Indeed, it must be on record that some officials of the opposition NDC have gone to jail for various corruption-related crimes, notably in relation to the Quality Grain scandal.

Presently, some NDC appointees are standing trial for some alleged acts of corruption. Remember in 2009, Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, who served in the Mills administration made loud proclamations about alleged corruption in the Kufuor regime and threatened that, “we shall jail them”. In fact, she ended up not jailing anybody. So the fight against corruption has not been taken lightly by the duty bearers except that looking at the results, it appears the efforts so far have been, “No Action, Talk Only (NATO).”

The present NPP government led by Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016 promised to fight corruption if elected President with the establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP). President Akufo-Addo walked the talk with the appointment of Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor in 2018, but under his tenure nothing was achieved.

The OSP under his watch was more interested in going after high-profile cases to gain traction in the media space instead of going after hundreds of public servants who misuse public funds. In most of the cases they attempted to follow, for reasons best known to the OSP, they ended up chasing mirages.

The Special Prosecutor treated the obviously explosive Airbus Scandal with kid’s gloves, apparently because Govt Official One is a “political brother.”

Many students of the anti-graft crusade felt disappointed when Martin Amidu exited the doors of the OSP. Then unexpectedly Kissi Agyebeng was appointed as the Special Prosecutor by President Akufo-Addo. Some expressed doubt about the ability of Kisi Agyebeng to “break bones.”

With the country mired in various corruption scandals in various state institutions, Kissi Agyabeng too has been interested in high political cases to court media attention. Thus, the galamsey issues in which some government appointees were alleged to be involved caught the attention of the Special Prosecutor.

We were not surprised when Kissi Agyebeng took interest in the allegations made against public officials by the Chairman of the defunct Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng. Then presto, Madam Cecilia Dapaah, a former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources was “caught in the corruption web” and the Special Prosecutor saw it as an opportunity to make a big political statement. For the first time, we find a prosecutor running to the press to put accused persons before the bar of public opinion.

Very unfortunately he got allies in the media space such as TV3 and Joy News as well as Lawyer Martin Kpebu and Professor Ransford Gyampo to run down Madam Cecilia Dapaah as a common criminal. When the court, which is the final arbiter drew his attention to the fact that he cannot be a judge in his own case, he went ballistic claiming the court is out to prevent the alleged criminals from being prosecuted. We shall return.