President Nana Akufo-Addo has said that the Office of the Special Prosecutor was given adequate resources to execute its mandate.
This follows the allegations in the resignation letter of the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu saying he did not have resources to which will help him do his job.
A statement from the Presidency to respond to the matter said “Indeed, the records show that in keeping with his resolve to sufficiently equip the Office in the discharge of its mandate under Act 959, the President provided your Office the necessary financial and administrative support. Your Office received more than a sufficient budgetary allocation to assist it in its anti-corruption fight. Remarkably, your letter of resignation alludes to the consistent deprivation of finances and a financial handicap imposed on the Office of the Special Prosecutor. You also bemoan the non-payment of the salaries of yourself and the Deputy Special Prosecutor in a manner that suggests the Government’s failure to do so. Yet, your Office had been adequately funded to pay for salaries. The impression given by you that there was a deliberate intention to ensure your office didn’t function is the more startling”.
The President in an instance in June 2018, explained that he released GHS 1 million to enable the Office to set-up after it requested and was granted GHS 2.79 million for a commencement authorization of which Mr Amidu failed to request for monies to undertake the office’s activities.
“You [Special Prosecutor] failed to make a request for payment in respect of the related procurement.” he said.
He also revealed that in 2019, the office submitted a budget of GHS 360 million of which GHS 180 million was approved and appropriated.
“Although your Office did not apply for the release of funds in 2019, the Ministry of Finance released GHS 65.69 million and transferred it into the bank account of your Office for your operations. Only a little of over GHS 5.22 million had been utilized by you as head of the Office of the Special Prosecutor” the statement read.
The unutilized amount of over GHS 60.47million which should have been returned to the Consolidated Fund in accordance with administrative practices was rolled over by the Ministry of Finance to the following year to be utilized by the office. The office also said it have not have accessed the amount on GIFMIS which is a government’s payment platform.
“Your Office has so far spent on GHC308,751 on the compensation of employees. Taking account of the amount that was rolled over from the year 2019, the account of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bank of Ghana, as of 12 November 2020, shows a balance of GH460.47 million. The Compensation Budget for the Office of Special Prosecutor in 2019 was not utilised because your Office was not able to recruit relevant staff by the end of the year” the statement added.
Source: Ghana Waves