Lawyer Akoto Ampaw has taken a strong exception to some assertions that the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) by the Nana Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is merely a political gimmick.The seasoned lawyer, who was himself tipped to be named Special Prosecutor prior to the establishment of the office, said the OSP is a novelty which is against a certain culture of resistance to change, hence the thinking that it is political.
“We have a political and an economic structure which is resistant to change. There are institutions, there are people in the public services, there are people in the business community who do not want change in Ghana,” he said in an exclusive interview with TV3.
Lawyer Ampaw noted every government has its own agenda to prosecute, which requires the collective efforts of every citizen, especially civil society, to have that agenda executed.
That, he said, does not mean the policies are political.
“So, if the President says he wants to do ABC by himself, he will fail unless he has the mobilized support of civil society and that is what I am talking about.
“Definitely, I do not believe that the Office of the Special Prosecutor is a political gimmick,” he stressed.
He, however, indicated the need for the OSP to be well-resourced to be able to fight corruption.
To this end, he called on civil society and well-meaning Ghanaians to put pressure on the government, particularly the Finance Minister, to provide funding for the Office.
His comments come on the back of Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu’s complaints about his office being under-resourced, which Mr. Ampaw agrees to.
Akoto Ampaw backs Martin Amidu over stifling complaints
According to Mr. Ampaw, the Special Prosecutor will now need “more investigations” to be able to prosecute criminal cases as compared to civil cases he won as a private citizen.
This, he believes, can be realized through the service of qualified and skillful investigators, lawyers, auditors, accountants, experts in international finance and banking.
Mr. Ampaw also observed the public euphoria which surrounded the appointment of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor was ill-informed, citing the failure of government to communicate to Ghanaians that the Office would not be ready immediately.