I can’t stop corruption – SP nominee Kissi Agyebeng
Nominee for the Special Prosecutor (SP), Mr Kissi Agyebeng, has said that he cannot end corruption in Ghana after being approved.
However, he would work to reduce corruption to the barest minimum.
My Agyebeng, who is being considered to replace the first SP Martin Amidu, believed that God would even fall short in eradicating corruption from the earth.
Mr Agyebeng, who appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Thursday, July 22, said: “I am not naïve to assume that I am coming to stop corruption. There is no way I can stop corruption, God himself would not even acclaim to that, but I am going to make corruption very costly to engage in”.
To fight corruption, he said he would institute what he termed ‘Pressure for Progress’, which would involve a systemic review of public sector institutions and the development of integrity plans.
He proposed a Ghana version for the global Corruption Perception Index benchmark to address the canker in public institutions.
“Why can’t we have our own corruption perception index? For instance, why can’t I rank public sector agencies against each other and, at the end of the year, publicise the results as to which institution is performing well and which institution is not performing well. In that quest, if you are the head of an institution and persistently your institution is drawing the short straw in terms of perception of corruption from the point of view of experts, from the point of view of the business people, you will sit up,” he suggested.
Asked by the Chairperson of the Committee to point out the law that grants him the power to publish the corruption perception index of public institutions, Mr Agyebeng noted that he has the mandate to institutionalize risk assessment.
Because of that, he believes publicizing such indicators is “an offshoot of the mandate of the OSP (Office of the Special Prosecutor) that I could go ahead after the process of risk assessment to determine the integrity of public sector agencies”.
He said he would add two divisions to the existing four departments of the OSP, with the approval of the board to give them “more teeth to bite”.
Ghanaian anti-corruption law is primarily contained in the Criminal Code, which criminalizes active and passive bribery, extortion, willful exploitation of public office, use of public office for private gain and bribery of foreign public officials.
But the implementation of the law to the letter has been a challenge, with several allegations of corruption being reported, especially in public institutions.
Various corruption scandals have hit government officials, with a few receiving punishments deterrent enough to end the canker.
The consequence is huge sums of money that fill individual pockets at the expense of the state and ordinary citizens.
Ghana’s anti-graft body, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), which is Transparency International’s Local Chapter, for example, has estimated that the country “loses close to US$3 billion to corruption annually.
Mr Agyebeng has the audacious task of fighting the menace after President Nana Akufo-Addo established the OSP in 2017 to deal with corruption-related matters.
The office serves as an independent investigating and prosecution body to make inquiries into corruption, bribery, or other criminal cases at the national level, whether in the public or private sectors.
Profile of Mr Agyebeng
Kissi Agyebeng has been a lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law since October 2006, teaching and researching into Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Law, Corporate Law, and Legal Research and Writing.
He was awarded the Bentsi-Enchill prize for best graduating student of the University of Ghana School of Law in 2001. He proceeded to the Ghana School of Law and was called to the Ghana Bar in October 2003, earning the E.N. Sowah Memorial prize for best student in Family Law.
Since then, he has successfully argued numerous cases before the superior courts of Ghana and has participated in several international arbitration hearings.
Kissi Agyebeng also has a wide range of expertise in consulting for public sector institutions, including the Attorney General’s Department, Exim Bank Ghana Ltd., Youth Employment Authority, National Lottery Authority, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Trade Fair Company Limited, and the Ghana Olympic Committee.
Kissi is also an Associate at the African Center for Cyber Law and Cyber Crime Prevention and the National Moot Court Coordinator for the Commonwealth Moot Court Competition on International Criminal Justice. He was the Vice-Chair of the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association.
Kissi Agyebeng is the Managing Partner of Cromwell Gray LLP, a reputable law firm in Accra, and the Chairman of the Electronic Communications Tribunal of Ghana – which is an appeal tribunal that sits on appeals from decisions or orders made by the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Dispute Resolution Committee of the NCA, in respect of the regulation of electronic communications, the regulation of broadcasting, and the use of the electromagnetic spectrum and related matters.
LLM (Corporate Law and Securities Regulation)- Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY (2006)
LLM (Marine and Environmental Law)- Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (2005)
BL- Ghana School of Law, Accra, Ghana
LLB- University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
Areas of Expertise
Real Estate Law
Law of the Sea
Ocean Law and Policy
Corporate and Commercial Law
International Commercial Arbitration
International Business Transactions
International Criminal Law
Theory in Search of Practice – The Right of Innocent Passage in the Territorial Sea, 39 CORNELL INT’L L. J., (2006) 371.
Minority Rights in Corporate Governance in Ghana: The End of the Rule in
Foss v. Harbottle?, in Ghana Law Since Independence: History, Development and Prospects, Mensa-Bonsu et al. eds, 73 (Black Mask Ltd, 2007).
To Disclose or Not to Disclose the Offence – That is the Question: The Case of Allan William Hodgson (2008-2010) 24 UGLJ 87.
A Commitment to Law, Development & Public Policy: A Festschrift in Honour of Nana Dr SKB Asante (Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing, 2016) – co-editor.