The Ghana Chapter of the Africa Parliamentarians Network against Corruption (APNAC) has expressed worry over the challenges facing the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to fight corruption in the country.
According to the Network, the fight against corruption, a cancerous disease that hinder social progress and economic growth would not be defeated, if the OSP continue to face the challenges.
The Network made these observations in a press statement issued by the Chairman of the Ghana Chapter, Hon Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, in Accra on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.
The APNAC members said, the Office of the Special Prosecutor was created as part of Ghana’s relentless effort to fight anti-grafts, but expressed the fear that, that decision might not materialize following recent events of which the Special Prosecutor has cause to complain off.
“In our quest for justice and integrity, we created the OSP to play an essential and complementary role in investigating and prosecuting corruption cases.”
“As members of APNAC, it is therefore disappointing that the second occupier of the OSP in its short life span like his predecessor, is reporting of numerous hurdles and frustrations in this noble pursuit,” the Chapter Chairman stated.
The Network mentioned some important cases pending before court which the OSP initiated and needed the backing of the state.
Below is the Full Statement by Ghana’s APNAC -Chapter
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6TH DECEMBER, 2023
THE GHANA CHAPTER OF AFRICA PARLIAMENTARIANS’ NETWORK AGAINST
CORRUPTION (APNAC) IN SUPPORT OF THE OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR’S CONCERNS REGARDING CHALLENGES MILITATING AGAINST
EFFECTIVE DISCHARGE OF THE MANDATE OF THE OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
Ghana Chapter has followed with keen interest, the news conference organised by the Special Prosecutor on Wednesday, 29th November 2023 expressing grave concerns over the increasing trend of dismissive rulings on corruption cases brought before the court and its potential consequences for Ghana’s anti-corruption efforts. He cited the acquittal of Madam Cecilia Dapaah, a former Minister of Sanitation, in a corruption case brought before the court and the refusal of the court to grant an order to freeze the estate of former NPP General Secretary, Mr. Kojo Owusu Afriyie to buttress his concerns. In his view, the approach by the court raises serious questions about the commitment of the judicial system in upholding the rule of law and combating corruption, adding that such decisions of the court could create an atmosphere of impunity that will be very difficult to reverse.
APNAC Ghana Chapter is concerned about the lamentations of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) regarding challenges confronting effective discharge of its mandate.
This is because, corruption is the single most important enemy impeding the collective effort of Ghanaians in securing for ourselves and posterity, the blessing of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity, as enshrined in the preamble of the 1992 Constitution; as well as actualizing the long-term vision of Ghana which is creating a just, free, and prosperous nation with high levels of national income and a broad-based social development.
Corruption, as we know, is cancerous and continues to hinder social progress and economic growth in our country. In our quest for justice and integrity, we created the OSP to play an essential and complementary role in investigating and prosecuting corruption cases.
As members of APNAC, it is therefore disappointing that the second occupier of the OSP in its short life span like his predecessor, is reporting of numerous hurdles and frustrations in this noble pursuit.
We wish to remind all that, the OSP, by holding corrupt individuals accountable, restores faith in our justice systems and promotes transparency, integrity, and good governance.
The successes of the Office are crucial in fostering a fair society where all citizens are treated equally under the law and where trust in institutions is restored.
Therefore, the Special Prosecutor’s commitment to fighting corruption must be seen as a dedication to preserving public trust, a deterrent to future misconduct, aimed at instilling confidence in citizens, investors, and international partners.
The work of the OSP is vital in safeguarding the nascent democratic foundation of our country and fostering an environment conducive to private sector investment, boost economic productivity, and enhance social development for all citizens.
We, members of APNAC, therefore call on all citizens, public and private institutions, especially the Judiciary and Executive, to recognize and support the indispensable work of the OSP in upholding the rule of law, safeguarding public trust, strengthening our democracy, promoting economic growth, and fostering international cooperation.
The OSP should therefore be assisted with the necessary resources, legal frameworks, and institutional support to live up to its lofty ideals.
Together, we can create a world where justice prevails, corruption is eradicated, and future generations can thrive in a fair and transparent society.
The imminent danger is that if drastic measures are not taken to tackle the increasing reports and perceptions of corruption in the country, the citizenry will lose trust in our democratic dispensation.
APNAC Ghana Chapter will, in the coming days, create a common platform for all anti-corruption institutions to deliberate on effective collaborative mechanisms to fight corruption.
The African Parliamentarians’ Network against Corruption (APNAC) is Africa’s leading non-partisan network of parliamentarians, whose members are united by their dedication to collaborating with State and non-State anti-corruption institutions to fight corruption.
APNAC advocates for the improvement of the capacity of State and Non-State Institutions to promptly address and handle matters relating to corruption, while liaising with national and international organisations, including civil society organisations, on all matters of corruption and carry out sensitisation and education to raise awareness among the population of the existence, threat and danger of corruption.
HON. EMMANUEL KWASI BEDZRAH
CHAIRMAN, APNAC-GHANA CHAPTER
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