The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has reiterated that the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) is the most restrictive he has ever come across.
According to him, section 79 of Act 959 severely restricts the jurisdiction of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to fight corruption and corruption-related offences in Ghana unlike in other countries that are fully committed to and adhere to their obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the ECOWAS Protocol on the Fight against Corruption in their domestic anti-corruption legislations.
Section 79 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) defines “corruption and corruption-related offences” to mean, offences under, Section 146, 151, 179C, 239, 252, 253, 254, 256, 258 and 260 of the Criminal Offence Act, 1960 (Act 29); Section 92 (2) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663); and existent offences under enactments arising out of or consequent to offences referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).
In an article, Mr Amidu also listed briefly the corruption and corruption-related offences apportioned for investigation and prosecution by the Office.
The following are the offences created under Act 959:
(a) Section 146 deals with dishonestly receiving property that a person knows to have been obtained or appropriated by a punishable criminal offence
(b) Section 151 deals with persons who extort property from any other person by means of threat as committing a second-degree felony
(c) Section 179C deals with using public office for private gain as a criminal offence
(d) Section 239 deals with corruption of and by public officers as a misdemeanour
(e) Section 252 deals with accepting or giving bribe to influence a public officer or juror as a misdemeanour
(f) Section 253 deals with a corrupt promise by a judicial officer or juror as a misdemeanour
(g) Section 254 deals with the corrupt selection of juror as a misdemeanour
(h) Section 256 deals with corruption, intimidation, and personation in respect of election as a misdemeanour
(i) Section 258 deals with falsification of returns at an election as a second-degree felony, and
(j) Section 260 deals with withholding public money by a public officer as a misdemeanour
(k) Section 92(2) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) deals with offences constituted under the Act for which jurisdiction is given to the Office.