A member of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Mahama Ayariga, says Special Prosecutor nominee, Kissi Agyebeng, was unanimously recommended for approval because there wasn’t any reason to reject him.
He said the endorsement the nominee received was because he satisfactorily met the legal requirement of the position.
“There were no issues to disqualify him, so as a committee we have agreed that he is eligible to be the Special Prosecutor, and we recommended him to parliament for approval”, Mahama Ayariga said on Eyewitness News.
The Appointments Committee recommended him after the nominee was questioned for about four hours on Thursday, July 22, 2021.
Chairman of the Committee, Joe Osei Owusu said, the recommendation was a unanimous decision.
Mahama Ayariga said: “We asked the questions, and he gave the responses. The basic thing we really looked at was the requirements of the Act on who qualifies to be a Special Prosecutor. He met all the requirements. Of all his qualifications, we haven’t been able to show that any of them bars him from being the Special Prosecutor. That is usually the main thing we looked at as a Committee.”
“All the other things people discussed such as his age, competence, position on issues, and all of those are things we asked to get his take, but legally if you look at the main criteria set out by the law, definitely, he met all of them”, Mahama Ayariga noted.
Parliament will later debate the report of the committee and decide on whether the nominee should be approved or rejected.
“We [will] put our recommendation [forward] for the House to determine whether to approve or disapprove of our recommendation. As to how other people view his [Kissi Agyebeng’s] answers, I’d rather leave it to them and stay within the rules to make recommendations to the House. The committee unanimously agreed to recommend him [Kissi Agyebeng] to the House for approval,” Joe Osei Owusu said.
‘Scrapping Special Prosecutor office will mean goodbye to corruption fight’
At the vetting, Kissi Agyebeng justified the significance of the office, arguing that any attempt to heed calls to scrap it will cast a slur on Ghana’s fight against deep-rooted corruption.
He said the Special Prosecutor office remains extremely relevant in uncovering the extent to which corruption has engulfed governance and other state agencies in the country, thereby making it a major pivot in safeguarding the public purse.
Mr. Agyebeng mounted a spirited defence to have the office maintained as part of Ghana’s anti-corruption strategy.
“The day we scrap this [Special Prosecutor] office is the day we say goodbye to our fight against corruption. Its relevance is borne out of its attributes and uniqueness. It is unique as compared to all other law-enforcement agencies in respect of its mandate. No other institution has been carefully thought out and designed to fight corruption specifically as Act 959 had done,” he said.