The new Special Prosecutor, Mr. Kissi Agyebeng has expressed his disgust at the poor salaries of workers at the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), warning that such poor pay could make his task of fighting corruption difficult.
“You can’t fight corruption with poorly paid staff and staff on secondments. It will be a lost battle,” Kissi Agyebeng said when today, (September 2, 2021) he paid a courtesy call on his close friend Gidfred Yeboah Dame, who is incidentally the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
He went on lamenting: “I have about 9 workers including drivers and cleaners, one prosecutor on secondment from your office, one investigator on secondment from the Police. I am currently reviewing all cases before the office.”
This complaint from the Special Prosecutor is the exact complaint made by his predecessor Martin A.B.K Amidu who was forced to resign out of frustration.
Kissi Agyabeng had admitted that he understood the task at the SPO and thus, his complaint is coming as a curious red flag for critics, particularly when he is known to be particularly close to the Attorney General and President Akufo Addo’s notorious cousin at the Jubilee House, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko.
Critics have questioned Kissi Agyabeng’s capacity to remain independent and prosecute corrupt political officials in the regime of his benefactor, President Akufo Addo. This has led some to conclude that the complaints he is communicating about the conditions of service of his staff was a subtle attempt to lay the groundwork to find the perfect excuse when he is accused of failing to prosecute political appointees in the Akufo Addo administration.
Even though the SPO was originally envisaged to be completely independent so that it can discourage corruption by political appointees, the Akufo Addo administration tweaked the legislation of the SPO, making it somehow subservient to the Attorney General who is a political appointee as well as a close friend of the Special prosecutor.
Additionally, having been a legal representative for Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, critics find it unclear how Kissi Agyabeng will gather the courage to probe allegations that Gabby had reportedly had his hands in the pie of some of the high-profile scandals in the Akufo Addo administration.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice, Yaw Apau, had recently stated that the legal architecture of the law establishing the AG’s office, deprives him of independence and puts him under the thumb of the Attorney General.
Agyebeng was sworn in by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on August 5, 2021, as SP after approval by Parliament and a vetting committee
It has been a month since his approval. Mr. Agyebeng, expected by many to be a puppet of the Jubilee House.