Blame government for ‘inactive’ Office of the Special Prosecutor – Vitus Azeem

Sat, 18 May 2019 Source: 3 News

Anti-corruption crusader, Vitus Azeem has taken a swipe at government for failing to live up to its promises of ensuring the Office of the Special Prosecutor functions effectively to get the desired results.

According to him, the lackadaisical manner in which government went about setting up the office is what has resulted in the lack of prosecution from that office more than a year after it was established.

President Akufo-Addo appointed Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor as part of efforts to tackle issues of corruption in the country. His office was specifically responsible for prosecuting corrupt public officials both past and present.

Since Mr. Amidu’s appointment, there has been no prosecution with national significance, and this has been attributed to the lack of resources at the office.

This has led to a lot of conversations in media circles with many accusing the Special Prosecutor of sleeping on the job.

Sharing his views on the performance of the Office of the Special Prosecutor on TV3’s ‘The Key Points’ show Saturday, Mr. Azeem said Mr. Amidu ought not to be blamed. Rather, the NPP government have themselves to blame for raising the hopes of Ghanaians through their campaign promises and not matching that with their deeds, he said.

Having made a lot of promises with regards to the Office, he said, the NPP should have prepared adequately before appointing the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu.

“The reactions that we are getting from the public are as a result of the fact that people’s expectations were heightened.

“This was a campaign issue and when government took over, they have continued to take credit for the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor as a demonstration of their commitment to the fight against corruption, not only in Ghana, but outside Ghana.

“And so people are saying you set up this office, we are not seeing what is happening…So the point is yes, we are not seeing what we expect of the Office the Special Prosecutor but can it be blamed on office and the individuals there, or it has to be blamed on a statutory authority or the appointment authority, and for me, a lot of the blame should be put on the government of the day,” Mr. Azeem asserted.

According to the anti-corruption crusader, there is more to clamp down on corruption than just appointing a Prosecutor.

He reiterated that government failed to allocate resources to the office on time, and that the constitution of a board, budgetary allocation amongst other things also delayed.

This, he said, hindered the functioning of the office, hence, the lack of prosecution a year after its establishment.

Source: 3 News

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