A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana’s Political Science Department has cautioned the Special Prosecutor against “rushing to please anybody” since his office is not independent of the control of politicians.
Professor Ransford Yaw Gyampo says Kissi Agyebeng must tone down his youthful exuberance when carrying out his responsibilities.
His comment follows an invitation from the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), which resulted in the arrest of Professor Frimpong Boateng over his report on the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
The renowned surgeon has since been granted bail in the amount of GH¢2 million.
But expressing some concerns, Prof Gyampo said the arrest of the former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation was disrespectful and unnecessary.
“The Special Prosecutor has every right to invite Prof Frimpong Boateng to assist in getting to the bottom of some of the issues raised in his report, which he never published, but privately submitted to the President.
“Indeed he can be invited to assist in investigations but he cannot be arrested without being charged. It is disrespectful and an unnecessary show of power as well as harassment to Prof Frimpong Boateng.”
He stressed that although he is not a lawyer, Mr Frimpong-Boateng should not have been arrested without being charged.
“We don’t fight galamsey by harassing those who expose it, Mr Special Prosecutor,” he said.
Prof. Gyampo added that an earlier recommendation had been made for an Independent Prosecutor who will “not walk in the shadows of a partisan Attorney-General” but this recommendation was ignored by government and the OSP rather initiated.
In a report presented to the Presidency in March 2021, which is currently in the public domain, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng mentioned dozens of people in the Akufo-Addo-led administration, as well as party bigwigs, as being complicit in illegal mining and frustrating the efforts of the President to combat the menace.
However, the Presidency and some of the individuals mentioned in the report have dismissed the report.
The government appointees and NPP bigwigs mentioned in the report who have refuted the allegations include the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah; the Director of Operations at the Presidency, Lord Commey, and a leading member of the NPP, Gabby Otchere-Darko.
This resulted in numerous calls to the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the matter.
In a press statement signed and dated May 2, 2023, the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, acknowledged the calls from the public and civil society organisations and said Mr Frimpong-Boateng will be invited to assist with investigations.
“The OSP welcomes the calls for action and investigations and it assures the public and civil society that its investigation is ongoing and far-reaching and it also covers the matters raised in the report published by the head of the dissolved IMCIM,” the statement said.
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