Politics

Special Prosecutor nominee, Kissi Agyabeng faces Parliament today

Pesident Akufo-Addo nominee for Special Prosecutor will face the Appointments Committee of Parliament later this morning.

Kissi Agyebeng, a private legal practitioner, will have his appointment considered by members of the Appointments Committee at 10:00am at the Committee Rooms 1, 2 & 3, New Administration Block, Parliament House, in Accra, a correspondence by the Clerk to the Committee indicated.

“I have, accordingly, been directed by the Hon. First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Joseph Osei-Wusu, to request the office to cause for publication, a notice of the public hearing in the national newspapers and electronic media for the attention of the general public,” the correspondence stated in part.

Pursuant to Section 13 (3) and (8) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959), President Akufo-Addo, in June this year, presented to Parliament Mr. Kissi Agyebeng for consideration for appointment as Special Prosecutor.

In accordance with Order 172 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin referred the nominee to the Appointments Committee for consideration and report to the House.

Background

President Akufo-Addo accepted the nomination of Mr. Agyebeng as Special Prosecutor following the recommendation by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame.

A statement issued from the presidency and signed by Acting Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin, said the Office of the President, by a letter dated April 29, 2021 to the Speaker of Parliament, sought Parliament’s approval of the appointment.

His appointment followed the resignation of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor on November 16, 2020, which then required the President to appoint a replacement within six (6) months of the position becoming vacant, in line with the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959).

AG’s Letter

Mr. Dame, in his letter titled “RE: Special Prosecutor Nomination Of Kissi Agyebeng”, to the presidency on April 16, 2021, drew the President’s attention to the fact that “Section 13(8) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) requires the President to appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor to that position, within six months of the Office of Special Prosecutor becoming vacant.”

“Respectfully, as you would recall, Mr. Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu resigned his position as Special Prosecutor on November 16, 2020,” Mr. Dame is purported to have said in the letter, adding, “By a letter dated November 17, 2020, the Honourable Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, communicated Your Excellency’s acceptance of the resignation of Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu as Special Prosecutor.”

“In accordance with Section 13(3) of Act 959, I hereby nominate Kissi Agyebeng, Esq. for appointment to the position of Special Prosecutor, subject to the approval of the majority of all the Members of Parliament,” the AG said in the letter.

The letter also had highlighted the track record of the nominee, saying, “Kissi Agyebeng was called to the Ghana Bar in October, 2003 and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Ghana, as well as Master of Laws (LLM) degrees from Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada and Cornell Law School, USA. He has since 2006 been teaching Criminal Law at the University of Ghana, whilst also engaged in private law practice.”

“I am satisfied that Kissi Agyebeng possesses the requisite expertise on corruption and corruption-related matters, is of high moral character and proven integrity and satisfies all the other requirements stipulated in Section 13(1) and (2) of Act 959,” the letter added.

In July 2019, President Akufo-Addo appointed Mr. Agyebeng, as the chairman of the Electronic Communications Tribunal.

His role which will end in July 2022, was to oversee the affairs and adjudication of appeals at the Tribunal as stipulated in The Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775).

According to the statement from the presidency, “President Akufo-Addo deems Mr. Kissi Agyebeng as being eminently qualified to become Special Prosecutor,” adding, “the President is hopeful that Parliament will expedite the confirmation process of Mr. Kissi Agyebeng, so he can assume the position without delay.”

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