Kissi Agyebeng, the Special Prosecutor has been explaining why he decided to move to the new GETFund building assigned to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
Speaking on Starr FM’s ‘Starr Chat’ programme, he stated that the reason he moved the OSP to the new GETFund building was because there was no space in the old OSP building.
“My very first day I took up the office accommodation file, I saw that a building has actually been assigned to the office so, that very day, I went to the building. I realized that it was an empty 10-storey building, massive standing there…
“We toured the entire building and we notice that there was some works to be done…so, within the first month, I moved the office; so, we’re in the new building,” he explained.
The Special Prosecutor indicated that, his board has yet to be inaugurated therefore it is difficult for him to make certain decisions but he is in the process of setting the office up.
He indicated that, what he can do without the board he is doing but the ones that require a board decision, he is waiting for the inauguration to make decisions regarding those.
“The main thing was space. There was no space there, so, if we are going to recruit today and we remain there, you can’t get anywhere to sit. Even the office of the board itself was cramped, the general secretariat [was too small] and so there is no way you are going to function…
“So, you encounter this, there was no space there, you can’t even find a place to sit. A lot of my meetings, we were holding it in a very cramped conference room, very stale. You pick up a file and you notice that you are not supposed to be here. You have an assigned building but why are we still here, because back and forth; letter to this; letter to that…
He said, after being informed that keys to the new building were available: “I asked for them and I moved less than an hour after taking office…right now it is habitable,” Kissi Agyebeng explained further.
The office had previously operated from a three-room facility at Labone in Accra.
The inadequate office space and staff had been criticised by the previous Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu.
Martin Amidu had been offered a two-storey building close to the International Press Center on the Gamel Abdul Nasser Avenue at Ridge, but said it was not up to standard at the time.
Mr. Amidu, in an August 3, 2020, letter to the Chief of Staff, even claimed it was his efforts that led to “serious remedial works” on the building. He had rejected keys to a new building and returned them to the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare.
At a point, renovation works on the building were halted by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly because of the absence of a permit.
The office was at the time expected to have about 230 staff when fully functional.
Parliament passed the law to establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor in November 2017.
The office is mandated to investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption and corruption-related offences under the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663)