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IEA criticizes Akufo-Addo for inadequate corruption fight

Despite the existence of two Special Prosecutors, the IEA believes that the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) is hampered by restrictions imposed by the appointing authority. Dr. John Kwakye, the Director of Research at the IEA, voiced these concerns during a press briefing held on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

He rebuked President Akufo-Addo for failing to address corruption in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA). Dr. Kwakye also highlighted a significant flaw in the OSP Act, which mandates the Special Prosecutor to seek approval from the Attorney-General before initiating prosecutions.

He proposed that for the OSP to effectively combat corruption, the Act governing its operations should be amended to ensure independence from executive influence.

Corruption is such an important issue in Ghana that it is inconceivable that the President would gloss over it,” Dr. Kwakye said.

The IEA’s criticism comes as Ghana grapples with escalating corruption levels. The country ranks 88th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2023.

In his final State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Akufo-Addo was expected to address key issues such as security, governance, the fight against corruption, education, health, and infrastructure, among others.

However, the IEA’s criticism suggests that the President may have fallen short in addressing corruption.

The IEA’s call for the OSP to be removed from executive influence is not a new demand. In December 2023, the IEA proposed amendments to the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2-17 (Act 959), and other related laws to ensure the independence of the OSP.

The IEA’s criticism underscores the urgent need for Ghana to strengthen its anti-corruption measures. The country’s fight against corruption is not only a matter of national importance but also a global concern, given Ghana’s position as a member of the international community.

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