I didn’t mean to attack judiciary – Kissi Agyebeng

Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng.

Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng says his statements about the judiciary were not aimed at seeking public sympathy or criticising the judicial system.

According to Mr Agyebeng, he only intended to shed light on perceived deficiencies within the judiciary.

"I wasn't looking for sympathy. Let me go back to what I was saying, and you look at it dispassionately without the frenzy of why is he attacking the judiciary. That was how those who were responding to me negatively took it, but I wasn't attacking the judiciary," he said on Accra-based Citi TV.

He added that "I was pointing out things that we thought were not going right in our evaluation.”

Kissi Agyebeng talked about a trend he spotted among specific judiciary members regarding the dismissals connected to the OSP's work.

 The OSP hinted at four occasions when the court made concerning statements favoring suspects under investigation for corruption and related cases handled by his office.

"We do not force feed cases; we do not force feed our prosecutions. It is our belief that it is not a matter of us going beyond our mandate but rather a case of hasty dismissiveness and lack of regard because if you take the four cases I tabled out over a period of time spanning from July 2022 to Monday, there is a troubling trend.

"In one of the cases, I said a judge injuncted us from arresting a person. Mind you, we were not in court. We had declared the person wanted as a fugitive from justice; there was absolutely no inquiry as to why we believed that the person was a fugitive from justice, so it is not as if we breached the law.

"No one asked us why we declared the person wanted. Then we were served with an injunction order that we cannot arrest the person, meanwhile, we know that in our law no one has the right not to be arrested. You cannot say you are granting a person a right not to be arrested.

"So when we receive judicial decisions like that, it makes us assume that we are being prevented from arresting someone who is a fugitive from justice," he said.

The assertion by the Special Prosecutor follows the dismissal of some requests and applications made by the OSP in its fight against corruption.

In July 2022, an Accra High Court dismissed a request by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to freeze the assets of the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popular called Sir John, a former CEO of the Forestry Commission.

This was after the OSP froze all the assets of Sir John as part of investigations into the acquisition of state lands and properties that were contained in his will.

Although the OSP applied to the court for a confirmation of the freezing order, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe dismissed the case.

Again, an Accra High Court in June ordered the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) not to proceed to execute an arrest warrant against former Presidential staffer, Charles Bissue.

Apart from the execution of the arrest warrant, the court further restrained the OSP from applying for a further arrest warrant or publishing notices declaring Mr Bissue as wanted within the 10-day period that the interim injunction would be in force.

These dismissals were followed by another one involving former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah.

In August, the Financial and Economic Division of an Accra High Court ordered the Office of the Special Prosecutor to return all monies seized from the embattled former Sanitation Minister.

The Court orders that this ruling be complied with within seven days.

The Court also said it cannot confirm the freezing of her bank accounts and other properties.

Finally, a High Court in Accra quashed a report by the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) that found wrongdoing by two individuals in the Labianca case. The court also awarded costs of GHC 10,000 against the OSP.

The OSP’s report had accused Colonel Kwadwo Damoah, a former Commissioner of the Customs Division at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and Joseph Adu Kyei, a former Deputy Commissioner of the Division, of wrongdoing in the case.

The report alleged that the two officials had used their positions to grant favourable tax treatment to Labianca Company, a frozen foods company owned by Council of State member, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh.

But in its ruling, the High Court said the OSP had exceeded its authority in making the adverse findings.

The court also granted an order of prohibition restraining the OSP from further investigating Damoah and Kyei in connection with the Labianca case.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.