‘Let’s encourage Special Prosecutor in graft investigation’

Justice Emile Short, a former commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has advised the citizenry to be patient with the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, and encourage him in his fight against corruption.

“Let us be patient and encourage the Special Prosecutor, who has in a recent article, lamented a lack of cooperation by state institutions in graft investigations,” he stressed.

In talking about the challenges confronting his office, Mr Amidu fingered heads of public institutions and threatened to sue the Attorney General if that office fails to cooperate with his office.

Justice Short noted that it was not good that the two-year-old Office of the Special Prosecutor for corruption matters was faced with lack of cooperation.

“What Martin Amidu needs from the public is support, patience, encouragement and not judgement on how many cases he has been able to prosecute or how well he has done, for my personal assessment of the office of the special prosecutor so far, I don’t want to judge him.

“I want us to be patient, we should encourage him, we should support him, we should assist him, public institutions should also collaborate and cooperate with him in his fight against graft, however, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has the power to compel institutions to produce information and documents it requires for investigations into corruption cases.

“Martin Amidu must consider invoking such powers under the law that establishes his office, it is criminal for anyone to disregard an invitation or request from the Office of the Special Prosecutor,” Justice Short contended.

Mr Amidu had also alleged a deliberate attempt by other state institutions to frustrate his office by instituting parallel investigations, but Justice Short admonished all the institutions with investigative powers to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on who handled what case to avoid duplicity.

Vitus Azeem, the former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, indicated that the Office of the Special Prosecutor should have a framework on what cases his focus was on, and should be able to decide whether he would take up corruption cases on his own or take up those he has been petitioned on. -3news.com

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