The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has chastised the Attorney General for dismissing resource difficulties at the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
GII Senior Programs Officer Mary Addah said it was unfortunate that the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, compared the funds his office received to those of the OSP, adding that the comments were unfair.
Speaking at the inauguration of the PASO board after months of delay, Mr Dame fought claims that the government was starving the PASO of funds. He also called the allegations malicious.
The Minister of Justice went ahead stating that the OSP has many more resources than his.
“Certain malicious, ill-founded and often ill-documented comments in the media about the Office that the resources at your disposal do little to serve the public interest – I was intrigued when a media outlet recently reported that only an amount of ¢10 million had been released so far – this year – for the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
“It is a media house that reports without regard to the general situation affecting budgetary allocations and releases for institutions responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes, and the promotion of good governance in the country, in general.
“The record will show that apart from the amount released for employee compensation, only a total amount of less than a quarter of what was reported as received by the PSO was released for the operations of the entire prosecutor’s office. general and the Ministry of Justice,” he said.
But responding to the GA, Mary Addah called the claims unjustifiable. She said the fact remained that the office needed resources to operate.
“The real concerns we raised about funding issues remain relevant. Whether malicious or ill-informed, the fact remains that the new office that needs resources to function has not been sufficiently resourced.
“The attorney general says his office doesn’t have the same resources as the OSP, but I think that’s a very unfortunate comparison to make,” she said.
The special prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, had been working without a board since taking office nine months ago.
The absence of council members has been a thorny issue for many civil society organizations who have lamented the absence of substantial counsel and the impact on the operations of the special prosecutor.
But on Tuesday, June 21, the GA inducted a nine-member board for the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
Newly sworn members include; Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, Deputy Special Prosecutor, Cynthia Jane Lamptey, Audit Service Representative, Lawrence Ayagba, Ghana Police Service Representative, DCOP Wilfred Boahen Frimpong and EOCO Representative, Aba Jacqueline Opoku.
The rest is; CHRAJ Representative Stephen Azantilow, Ministry of National Security Representative COP George Tuffuor (Rtd), Anti-Corruption Civil Society Representative Linda Ofori-Kwafo and Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) Representative Kofi Boadi A. Boakye.