President Nana Akufo-Addo has sworn in a nine-member governing board to oversee the work of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
Per the Act establishing the Office of Special Prosecutor, the office becomes fully operational when there is a Governing Board to direct affairs.
The board is made up of representatives of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the Ghana Police Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), and the National Security Ministry.
Parliament passed a law in November in 2017, to establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor as a specialized agency to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers, politically-exposed persons, as well as individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices. The office is empowered by law to prosecute offenders on the authority of the Attorney-General.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, President Nana Akufo-Addo charged the board to help the government in its quest to fight corruption in the country.
He said the board must “work to ensure the independence” of the office.
In addition, the President said the Board was to “ensure the cooperation of the law enforcement agencies of this country.”
“When you foster that cooperation, you are not endangering your own particular functions and responsibilities. You are helping the office of the Special Prosecutor achieve the statutory end role the Parliament and the people of Ghana expect of the office.”
The Office of the Special Prosecutor has been tasked to investigate and prosecute specific categories of cases and allegations of corruption and other criminal wrongdoing, including those involving alleged violations of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and cases implicating public officers and politically-exposed persons.
The office has also be mandated to trace and recover the proceeds of corruption.
The Special Prosecutor’s office is expected to be independent of the Executive, which observers believe will allow it to deal with corruption-related issues which have plagued governance adequately.