Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal, the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has advised the Special Prosecutor William Kissi Agyebeng to quit whining about the lack of funds available to him and start putting his ‘small budget’ to work.
Money, according to the Commissioner, is not an all-encompassing tool for combating corruption and encouraged the prosecutor to come up with creative measures to combat the societal blight.
“It is not the money alone that can fight corruption. You cannot expect to start work with a bank.”Mr. Whittal
Mr. Whittal commented as a panelist at the second edition of the Ghana Integrity Initiative Awards in Accra that “the fight against corruption must begin from somewhere and not necessarily with money”.
The commissioner told the special prosecutor to move quickly in the battle against corruption in the country.
“If you start with a ten-story building as the OSP has got now, and you’re given GH¢40 million to start, [just] start.Mr. Whittal
Optimism about Corruption fight in Ghana
Previously, Mr. Agyebeng mentioned that there are reasons to be optimistic about Ghana’s efforts to combat corruption.
Mr. Agyebeng, speaking to a press in Accra to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day, disclosed that while he has taken steps to operationalize his office, the government must provide the necessary resources to the office if it wants the office of the special prosecutor to fight corruption.
“Upon my assumption of office on 5 August 2021 as the second Special Prosecutor of the Republic, I noticed that the OSP had not been operationalized and it was without its own staff and necessary resources. The fight against corruption had, in effect, been thrown in reverse for three (3) years.
“I look forward to the provision of adequate funding and the necessary material resources as stipulated in Articles 6 and 36 of the Convention to carry out this most challenging and solemn mandate. I cannot help but state that without adequate funding and the provision of the necessary material resources, the good intentions of my staff and I would remain just good intentions with nothing concrete to show for it.”Mr. Agyebeng
Mr. Agyebeng equally reassured Ghanaians that he is not dozing off on his duties as Special Prosecutor, stating that he has been in contact with key organizations in this regard.
“Some of the institutions I have been engaging include the law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies including the Attorney General’s, National Security Secretariat, Ghana Police Service, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Economic and Organized Crime Office, and the Financial Intelligence Centre.”Mr. Agyebeng
The prosecutor likewise encouraged well-intentioned Ghanaians to be patient as a myriad of corruption cases are examined.
“The OSP would vigorously investigate and prosecute cases of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences and recover proceeds of such offences through property tracing of tainted property and currency in line with our vision of rendering corruption a costly enterprise.”Mr. Agyebeng