In November 2020, respected anti-corruption crusader, Martin Amidu, resigned as the Special Prosecutor. In April 2021, Kissi Agyebeng was nominated.
He was vetted for the job by Parliament in July and sworn into office the next month – August 5. He was not paid a salary in 2021, not in 2022, and there is no indication he and his staff will be paid this or the next month or in 2023.
The people hired to catch the thieves and recover stolen money are denied resources and starved for a cumulative 17 months. Surprisingly, the OSP continues to give us hope the broad day rape of the public purse won’t continue without consequences.
In its latest move, it has put three officers of the Northern Development Authority and a businessman before court to explain how a GHS5.7 million consultancy contract mysteriously turned into 10. 4 million cedis.
It follows a petition by Martin Kpebu who brought the bizarre scandal to public light on Newsfile last year. A petition by the President’s own appointee, the former head of the NDA Dr. Alhassan Sulemana Anamzoya, who fought the rot, sat on his desk for months without action.
This compelled Mr. Kpebu to accuse the presidency of complicity for the several months of inaction. In December 2022, the President dismissed the two deputy CEOs who are now facing criminal charges together with the CEO. It is curious why he was not sacked or suspended.
The OSP has ended the rot at the ports that denied the state tax. I am referring to the GRA’s discretionary discount regime on values of goods and vehicles which was blatantly abused and became a tool for corruption as found in the OSP decision in the La Bianca case.
Yes, this is the OSP that will even chase a dead man found to own state property that cannot be sold or gifted.
How can you feel proud that for 17 months you have not resolved the issue to pay them their salaries? What do you gain from unleashing communicators paid by the tax-payer and blind party loyalists to attack the SP because Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu did his job in disclosing this to the public?
By law, the SP’s conditions of service are those of a justice of the court of appeal, and his staff ranked as the police and allied security agencies. What you should be explaining to citizens is whether they have asked to be paid anything beyond what they are entitled by law.
Stop the uncritical propaganda that the SP has rejected a GHS20,000 salary, and has appointed members of his law firm. The fact is that all staff appointments were lawful, approved by the OSP Board, and only one person comes from the SP’s law firm.
The fact is that they reject salaries below equivalent officers in the police service and contrary to the law’s prescriptions. It took nine months after his appointment for Government to constitute the OSP Board. His crime was to fill only three out of the seven critical offices to enable him work. These were later approved, as is the case with new entities.
This is a specialised and new office. It deserves special attention. It does not have the resources the long-established agencies have and therefore must not be compared with those when considering its budget. Let’s empower this promising office financially as it demonstrates readiness to make corruption an expensive venture, and is already helping the State recover badly needed money.
Just pay Kissi Agyebeng and his staff what they are due by law. This office has what it takes to quickly gain financial independence. Under the law, it is to retain 30% of the stolen money it recovers. 50% goes into the consolidated fund, 10% to be spent on whistleblowers and informants and the remaining 10% goes to office of the Attorney-General.
The number of people making overnight wealth, whose source they cannot explain, is growing in our society. Resource the OSP to recover our collective wealth and generate revenue for the State. That is My Take.
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