May 27, 2024

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has expressed grave concerns over the increasing trend of dismissive rulings in corruption cases, warning that this could lead to dire consequences for the country’s anti-corruption efforts.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, November 29, Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng expressed alarm at the “growing hasty dismissiveness and lack of regard” for corruption cases, which he believes could severely impede the OSP’s ability to fulfil its mandate.

Mr. Agyebeng highlighted four specific cases that exemplify this trend, including: The acquittal of Cecilia Dapaah, a former government official, in a corruption case and the refusal of a court order to freeze the estate of former NPP General Secretary, Kojo Owusu Afriyie, despite mounting allegations of corruption against his estate.

These cases, according to Mr. Agyebeng, raise serious questions about the commitment of the judicial system to upholding the rule of law and combatting corruption.

He warned that if this trend continues, it will create an atmosphere of impunity that will be very difficult to reverse.

The Special Prosecutor urged the judiciary to reconsider its approach to corruption cases, emphasizing the need for thorough and impartial investigations and prosecutions.

“Indeed I have had several calls from well-meaning lawyers admonishing me that they have heard talk that our friends who have been elevated to the bench and presiding over cases in court do not take very kindly to criticism, especially of the public calling out variety as we do.

“And that if the office persists in the media releases, the judges will gang up against the office and throw out all our cases. Mind you, members of the press, collective admonishing is from very senior and experienced lawyers who are members of the law. Members of the press, my learning of the law for the past 25 years in three different jurisdictions, my teaching and training of lawyers and law students for the past 17 years, my 20-year record at the bar all bear testimony that I will be the last person to lead an institution to attack the judiciary.

“It will be absolutely of no good should it be the case that the OSP is set against the judiciary or that the judiciary is against the OSP. That will surely spell disastrous consequences for this republic, especially in the fight against corruption to the amending glee of corrupt persons.

He also called for greater collaboration between the OSP and the judiciary to ensure that corruption cases are handled effectively.

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