The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has provided a clarification as to why it is not pursuing prosecution against Charles Adu Boahen, the former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, despite having evidence of influence peddling. The OSP cited the absence of specific legislation in Ghana criminalising influence peddling, which leaves them without the legal mandate to prosecute such cases.
The investigation into corruption allegations against Adu Boahen began after a documentary produced by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team suggested that Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia might receive a $200,000 appearance fee from investors. Adu Boahen was subsequently relieved of his position by the President.
In its report released on October 30, 2023, the OSP clarified that although Adu Boahen engaged in influence peddling, he did not commit any criminal activity that would warrant prosecution by the Special Prosecutor.
The OSP’s explanation has generated some controversy, with some individuals interpreting it as a clearance of the former Minister. In response, the OSP emphasised that influence peddling is considered a form of corruption on a global scale and is condemned under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). However, Ghana has yet to establish specific legislation criminalising influence peddling, preventing the OSP from pursuing prosecution in this case.
The OSP has joined calls for the enactment of a Corrupt Practices Act and a Conduct of Public Officers Act, stating that these legislative measures are essential to establish a stronger legal framework and more effective mechanisms to combat and penalise corruption and related offences.
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