Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng
Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng
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This is why Martin Amidu wants Kissi Agyebeng to be removed as Special Prosecutor

Graphic Online has seen a copy of the petition containing the reasons for which Martin Alamisi Amidu wants Kissi Agyebeng to be removed as Special Prosecutor.

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The Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo, has written to the Special Prosecutor (SP), Kissi Agyebeng, for his response to a petition by his predecessor, Martin Amidu, seeking his removal. 

Mr Amidu wants Kissi Agyebeng to prove that he is innocent in the allegations leveled against him [Agyebeng].

He cites denials of the Right to Information (RTI) request fishing for information to assess the breaches he is alleging,

The response by the Special Prosecutor, according to the letter from Chief Justice dated Thursday (May 16, 2024), is to assist the Chief Justice determine whether there is a prima facie case (case to answer) against Mr Agyebeng.

MARTIN AMIDU’S PETITION FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FROM OFFICE
A SUMMARY OF THE PETITION

1.0 The Petition

Martin Amidu’s petition rests on six issues;

1.    Accroachment of Authority
2.    Inducement of Staff from sister law enforcement agencies
3.    Abuse of citizens’ rights through arrests and detention
4.    Abuse of the Judiciary
5.    Procurement breaches
6.    Refusal to comply with RTI requests.

1.1 Accroachment of Authority

Mr. Martin Amidu alleges it is the president who should have appointed staff of the OSP and not the Special Prosecutor.

He alleges the SP accroached the powers of the president when he engaged the services of three directors when he did not have a board.  

He pointed out in many words that he had mainly sought the secondment of staff to his Office with the approval of the President when he did not have a board.

However, Mr. Kissi Agyebeng did not seek approval from the president. 

1.2 Inducement of Staff from sister Law Enforcement Agencies

The former Special Prosecutor alleges that the current Special Prosecutor recruited staff from sister law enforcement agencies, particularly the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Ghana Police Service by inducing them with higher salaries and higher ranks. 

Mr Amidu attached resignation letters he officially obtained from EOCO (marked restricted) who are now working with the OSP.

He also attached RTI requests he made to Ghana Police Service for names and ranks of officers who have resigned to join the OSP. Police did not provide official resignation letters but a write up.

1.3 Abuse of citizens’ rights through arrests and detention

Mr. Martin Amidu alleges that the OSP’s handling of cases involving Madam Cecila Dapaah, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, Col. Damoah and Joseph Adu Kyei (Customs Division of GRA) and Ms. Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh (Chief Executive of Labianca and a member of the Council of State) amounted to an abuse of the rights of these citizens through the arrests and detentions made by the OSP.

Mr. Amidu attached the entire court documents filed at the High Court from start to finish of the Cecilia Dapaah’s case to his petition as exhibit.

1.4 Abuse of the Judiciary

In a media briefing in November 2023, the Special Prosecutor told the press that there appeared to be a developing trend of rather regressive and dismissal judicial decisions involving OSP cases. The OSP provided four examples of rulings by the Court that appeared to ignore the law, or reason, or both. 

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Mr. Martin Amidu alleges that this “criticism” is tantamount to abuse of the Judiciary. He attached an article he wrote on 3 December 2023 criticising the SP as evidence of judicial abuse.

1.5 Procurement Breaches 

The former Special Prosecutor alleges that the OSP had breached Procurement rules in its refurbishment of the new office complex and procurement of vehicles.

As an exhibit, he attached an RTI request to Public Procurement Authority for documentations covering such transactions. PPA denied request for the information on the basis that they are not OSP. 

1.6 Refusal to comply with RTI Requests

Mr. Martin Amidu also alleges that the OSP did not grant him information with several Right to Information requests made by him.

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Mr. Amidu requested that the OSP to provide him with the appointment letters and salary details of all OSP staff on a pen drive. And details on the specialised vehicles by the OSP.  

When petition was sent President

On April 30, 2024, Mr Amidu, who is also a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice,  petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo seeking the impeachment of Mr Agyebeng as the Head of the anti-graft agency.

The petition was forwarded by President Akufo-Addo on May 6 to the Chief Justice to take action pursuant to the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act , 2017 (Act 959).

Removal of OSP 

The removal process for the Special Prosecutor(SP) under Act 959 is the same as the removal of Justices of the Superior Court and heads of constitutional bodies such as the Electoral Commission as stipulated by Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution. 

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Under the process, the President acts as a conveyor, while the Chief Justice set in motion the adjudicating process.

Pursuant to Section 15 of Act 959, when a petition is sent to the President, he must forward it to the Chief Justice within seven days and the Chief Justice determines whether there is a prima facie case (case to answer )against the SP within 30 days.

In the event the Chief Justice determines that there is a prima facie case, the CJ is enjoined by the same section to within 14 days, establish a committee to investigate the allegations contained in the petition.

The committee must consists of a Chairperson, who must be a Justice of the Supreme Court, a lawyer with 15 years standing at the Bar, and another person with expertise in investigations.

Pursuant to Section 15 (5 & 6) of Act 959, the committee must complete its work within 90 days, and make recommendations to the President, through the Chief Justice.

The President is bound to act in accordance with the recommendations of the committee.

Section 15(1) of Act 959 states some of the grounds that could lead to the removal of the SP as stated misbehavior and incompetence, incapacity to perform the functions of the office, wilful  violation of the oath of office or secrecy and any conduct which is likely to bring the office into disrepute, ridicule or contempt.

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