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Martin Amidu declines to investigate ‘thievery and corruption’ allegations by ASEPA

Ghana’s Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has complained about his inability to access GH¢180 million that has been budgeted for use by his office in the 2019 Budget Statement, arguing that it has hampered his fight against corruption. “You say you have given GH¢180 million. I cannot access the GH¢180 million because as we speak today, my office has not been classified for procurement purposes. So I cannot procure cars myself, I cannot procure equipment myself.

I can procure nothing,” he lamented on the Time With David show to veteran journalist David Ampofo monitored by MyNewsGh.com Martin Amidu is of the view that anti-corruption bodies such as his, the OSP, have been denied much needed resources to enable them fight against corruption meaningfully. Martin Amidu has been excoriated by many for not doing enough in the corruption fight since he was appointed barely a year ago. But he has defended his seeming inaction in the corruption fight on the lack of resources. “Give me the chance to perform and then call me whatever names you want if I don’t deliver,” he challenged.

Martin Amidu has been a longstanding anti-corruption crusader, earning the name “Citizen Vigilante” because of his remarkable exploits in the fight against corruption. But upon his appointment as Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor, he has woefully failed to meet expectations. But he has consistently written and spoken about how his office has been deprived resources – both human and material- to enable him effectively and efficiently fight corruption.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OPS) has declined a petition by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) to investigate alleged acts of thievery and corruption hindering the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.

The Office explained that it cannot establish acts of corruption or corrupt related offences mandated by its binding law to investigate.

“A review of your letter of complaint, however, has led this office to the conclusion that the facts and conjectures upon which you underpin your complaints do not raise any issues of corruption and corruption-related offences as narrowly defined under section 79 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) to warrant an investigation by this office” a statement signed by Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu read.

ASEPA, invoking Act 959 of the Special Prosecutor Act had alleged that audio circulating on social media purported to be a conversation between Environment Minister, Professor Frimpong Boateng and the Central Regional Vice-Chairman of the NPP, Ekow Ewusi, is enough evidence of alleged corrupt acts thwarting the fight against galamsey.

The petition was submitted days after members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) held a presser at the banks of the Pra River to accuse President Akufo-Addo and his appointees of causing more harm to the mining sector since taking over power.

Agreeing to these allegations, ASEPA argued that an investigation by the OSP will not only help unravel those responsible for the various corrupt acts hindering the fight but will also make it possible for them to face the full rigours of the law.

But Martin Amidu says the criminal division of the Ghana Police Service is better mandated to handle the issue.

According to him, since the Service has also commenced investigations into a similar matter, it will not be in the interest of the country to spend money on a new process elsewhere.

Find statement from the Office of the Special Prosecutor below

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