The Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellency Andrew Barnes says Ghana has taken a bold step in its fight against corruption with the establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP).
The negative impact of corruption, according to him robs several others of opportunities to develop their potential as well as retards general development in the country.
In light of this, every country, he emphasized, has to be aware of the negative effects of the canker and take appropriate measures to control it.
Speaking exclusively to The Ghana Report (TGR), H.E. Andrew Barnes, who is also responsible for Australia’s relations with Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo commended the Special Prosecutor (SP), Martin Alamisi Amidu, for making some progress with regards to the fight against corruption in Ghana.
“Every country has to be aware of it and take measures to keep corruption at bay and in Australia, we have the same debate whether we will have a federal commission against corruption and I think the establishment of the special prosecutor is being a very good thing and he is starting to get some rounds on the ball we say, he has started making some progress and this should be important for Ghana,” the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana remarked.
The then leading opposition presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, prior to the 2016 general election promised to establish a special prosecutor office to deal with corruption among public officials in the country if elected to government.
The rationale was to lessen the burden on existing anti-corruption agencies and remove the institutional roadblocks that exist as hindrances to the fight against corruption.
In addition, governance experts had expressed worry over the inability of the Attorney-General to act as an effective prosecution and law enforcement tool in the fight against corruption due to its ties to the Executive – the appointing authority.
Following his election to the high office of president, the president, true to his word, set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor of Ghana through an Act of Parliament.
The office serves as an independent investigating and prosecutorial body to make inquiries into corruption, bribery, and other criminal cases.
A leading opposition figure, Mr. Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu, a former Attorney General and Justice Minister as well as running mate to late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills in the 2000 presidential election in Ghana is the first to be appointed to hold the position of Special Prosecutor.