Special Prosecutor (SP) nominee Mr Kissi Agyebeng has promised to be independent and implement a unique agenda of fighting corruption in the country when given parliamentary approval.
This, according to him, will be executed in accordance with his “experiences and professional training.”
Mr Agyebeng stated this when the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, compared the nominee to his predecessor, Mr Martin Amidu.
“How prepared are you to fall into the heavy shoes of Martin Alamisi Amidu given his enormous experience and background?”, the Minority Leader quizzed the SP nominee when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting yesterday.
Answering the question, Mr Agyebeng said, “Honourable Chair, I will prefer to wear my own shoes. In the sense that I am my own man, and I am coming with my own experiences and professional training.
“In this quest, my conscience and my learning of the law are going to be my guide”.
When approved, Kissi Agyebeng will take over from Martin Amidu who resigned from office on November 16, 2020, three years after he was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The 43-year-old said he will count on his experience, training and competence to manage the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
Making corruption costly
SP nominee has pledged to be an anti-corruption crusader who will ensure that the canker becomes very costly to undertake.
“I am not naïve to say that I am here to stop corruption, and indeed God himself will not even acclaim to that, but I’m going to make corruption very costly to engage in,” he stressed.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor is tasked to prevent, investigate, and prosecute corruption issues under the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and recover and manage assets and proceeds of corruption.
Responding to questions during his vetting, Mr Agyebeng said he will develop strategies that will aggressively tackle corruption and conflict of interest among others.
“I will institute what I call, pressure for progress and institute systemic review of public sector institutions and the development of integrity.
“Why can’t we have our own corruption perception index and publish them as to which institution is performing well and in that quest. If you are head and your sector is drawing the last straw, I’m sure you will sit up and this, the law gives me the mandate to do,” he indicated.
Mr Agyebeng acknowledged that the mission of combating the canker will be difficult, expressing his commitment to ask the “tough” questions and hold public officers accountable to save the country’s purse.
“You have my firm commitment. But, you know, corruption is secretive and very, very complex. Most of the time, it transcends national boundaries. So unless the participants of the corrupt activity are opening up to you, it is very difficult on your own to establish that these funds came about unlawfully.
“And so, as I keep saying, if I were to place the burden on you, matched against your lawful income and you cannot reasonably explain the shortfall as to how your lawful income falls short of your wealth, then I will be asking you questions, then I will be calling you in,” he stated.
Agyebeng gets committee’s approval
Parliament’s Appointments Committee has recommended by consensus, the approval of Mr Agyebeng as Special Prosecutor.
Chairman of the committee Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu who is also the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament told journalists a few minutes after the vetting that members were satisfied with the answers provided by the nominee hence their approval.
He indicated that the committee’s report is expected to be laid before the House either tomorrow or next week Tuesday.
“He (nominee) met all the requirements that we were looking for in a nominee for the Office of the Special Prosecutor. So the Appointments committee unanimously agreed to recommend him to the House for approval”, Mr Osei-Owusu who is also the MP for Bekwai in the Ashanti region stated.