Adu Boahen’s case not within my mandate — OSP
The suspected corruption and corruption-related offences involving a former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen, does not fall directly under the purview of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
In an investigative finding issued last Monday, the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, said those alleged crimes can best be handled by the the Attorney-General.
The report said the OSP’s office had more than sufficient basis to make that conclusion after forensic investigation and analysis of the investigative documentary titled 'Galamsey Economy,' produced by Tiger Eye P.I., a private investigation agency headed by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
On November 14, 2022, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo requested the OSP to investigate the said allegations against Mr Adu Boahen contained in an investigative documentary titled ‘Galamsey Economy’ produced by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The OSP in its findings said though the conduct of Mr Adu Boahen amounted to trading in influence or influence peddling, which is closely associated with corruption, there was no actual criminal prohibition of his acts in respect of which the OSP has a mandate to further act.
Again on that reckoning, the Special Prosecutor directed the closure of the investigation in respect of allegations of corruption and corruption-related offences involving Charles Adu Boahen contained in the investigative documentary titled Galamsey Economy published by Tiger Eye P.I. adding that the investigation may be re-opened should the circumstances and further facts so dictate.
It added that the non-prohibition of most predicate acts of corruption and corruption-related offences engenders impunity of malevolent conduct and the erosion of democratic tenets, which spawn formidable hurdles in the fight against corruption, especially in the public sector.
The OSP said influence peddling or trading in influence is a significant index of corruption worldwide, and it is deprecated under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
"Though Ghana is a state party to the UNCAC, the nation has yet to specifically prohibit influence peddling or trading in influence as a criminal offence. Consequently, the OSP lacks the legal mandate to pursue prosecution in this matter," it added.
The OSP joins calls by civil society groups, particularly OccupyGhana, on the passage of a Corrupt Practices Act and a Conduct of Public Officers Act.
These legislative measures are essential for the establishment of a stronger legal framework and more effective mechanisms to combat and penalise corruption and corruption-related offences," it said.
Corrupt Practices Act
On this score, the OSP has called for the passage of a Corrupt Practices Act to comprehensively codify the prohibition of all forms of corruption.
“The offence of influence peddling has not been codified in Ghanaian criminal statute hence the OSP's call for passage of Corrupt Practices Act and Conduct of Public Officers Act to deal with the offence of influence peddling,” he said.