General News of Friday, 23 March 2018
Anti-Corruption crusader, Vitus Azeem, is challenging the government to prove its commitment to the fight against corruption by resourcing the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
Citi News checks have shown that the office is incomplete; a month after the Prosecutor was sworn into office by the President.
The Deputy Special Prosecutor and the Board members needed for the running of the office are yet to be appointed by the President.
This makes the execution of the mandate of the special prosecutor almost impossible.
Speaking to Citi News, Vitus Azeem, who is also a former head of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, said the delay in resourcing the Special Prosecutor is worrying.
“Looking at the speed with which the bill was passed and his [Martin Amidu’s] appointment and especially when the President appealed to Parliament to do the vetting on time, one would have expected that by now, everything would have been set. So if it is not set, definitely it should be a worry to us because there are people already waiting to make complaints to him. He needs an office to start recruiting staff among others and it is a long process, so we expect it to happen without the delay.”
“The government knew [about the logistical challenges], yet they hurried up with everything. Even in 2017, the opposition said that there was no budget for it, but they still went ahead and approved the bill. And I believe that with the 2018 budget, there should be provision for that organization. It may take a long process but some things should start so that we know that the commitments are there,” he added.
Today, March 23, 2018, is exactly a month since Martin Amidu was sworn in by President Nana Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor.
A month on, it appears everything ended after the day he was sworn in as the office allotted him at Labone in Accra lacks logistics and looks like a private residence.
Citi News‘ visit to the place saw that the unmarked house has a compound too small to accommodate more than one vehicle.
The interior of the one-storey house boasts of a few bedrooms that have been converted into offices fitted with desks for prosecutors and investigators needed for the job.
The Special Prosecutor himself has a small room stuffed with chairs and a dining table which will serve as his office. A few more tiny rooms and cubicles seemed like offices for other staff.