President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday swore into office, Mr Kissi Agyebeng, as the Special Prosecutor and urged him to take up the fight against corruption in an independent and impartial manner.
“I want to assure Mr Kissi Agyebeng, like I did his predecessor, that not only will the Executive, including the Attorney General, respect scrupulously the independence of his Office, but will also provide him with whatever assistance is required to enable him discharge his high duties effectively, in the interest of the Ghanaian people.”
“Indeed, all institutions of state will work and co-operate with him in the same spirit, which he articulated at his approval proceedings in Parliament,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Pointing out Mr Agyebeng’s credentials in private legal practice and his performance in Parliament during his vetting, the President was optimistic that Mr Agyebeng’s tenure would be a success.
“It is clear that Mr Kissi Agyebeng is eminently qualified to occupy the Office of Special Prosecutor. He has the capacity, the experience, the requisite values and intellectual strength to succeed in this vital position.”
“The wide acceptance of his nomination by the Ghanaian people, and the nature of his performance during Parliament’s approval process are, for me, indications that the confidence I reposed in him, to discharge one of the most critical functions of State, was not misplaced,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo reaffirmed his commitment to the fight against corruption in the country, indicating that the creation of the Office of Special Prosecutor was borne out of the commitment to find an additional instrument to fight against the menace.
“The genuineness of that commitment to create an independent, non-partisan body with the relevant professional capability, to lead the fight, and hold public officials, past and present, accountable for their stewardship of public finances, was made manifest in the appointment of a very senior figure from the opposite side of the political divide to establish and head this very significant Office.
“This appointment, as you would all recall, was met with stiff opposition by some members from both sides of the aisle,” he said.
The President said in spite of the unfortunate events that led to the departure of the first occupant of the Office, he had no regrets in choosing Mr Martin Amidu as the first occupant of the office.
“On my part as President of the Republic, I ensured that the Office was adequately resourced to enable it carry out its mandate. I am, however, consoled by the oft-cited statement that there is no use crying over spilt milk.”
He expressed the commitment to resource the other institutions fighting against corruption to make them effective to deepen the fight against the menace.
“Government will continue to give stronger budgetary assistance to the other constitutionally mandated institutions that hold government accountable, and help fight corruption, i.e., the Auditor General, Parliament, Judiciary, the Police Service, the Ministry of Justice, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO),” he added.
Mr Agyebeng, on his part, pledged to discharge his duties diligently without fear or favour.
BY YAW KYEI