The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has said less than a quarter of funds released to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) is allocated to his outfit.
While contesting claims that the OSP is inadequately resourced by the government, he revealed that there are several times his office has had to operate with insufficient funds.
“The record will show – and the Chief Director is here; he will bear me [witness] – that apart from the amount released for the compensation of employees, only a total amount of less than a quarter of what was reported as having been received by the OSP has been released for the operations of the entire office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, and the seven agencies under the Ministry, including all the offices it runs in all the 16 regions across Ghana.
“This is an unfortunate circumstance the Ministry contends with but we do not make a public spectacle of it because we understand the times in which we are,” Godfred Dame said during the inauguration of the new Board of the OSP on Tuesday, June 21.
He cautioned the media against sensational reports which affect the Special Prosecutor, saying such narratives end up creating an “unfortunate impression of a deliberate starvation of resources by the state,” although they may not be justified.
Mr Yeboah Dame fought off claims that the government is starving the OSP of funds and described the allegations as malicious.
He asserted that the OSP is more resourced than his outfit.
“Some malicious, ill-founded, and often ill-researched comments in the media about the Office, that resources at your disposal hardly serve the public interest – I was intrigued when one media house reported recently that only an amount of ¢10 million has been released so far – this year – for the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
“This is a media house reporting without regards to the general situation affecting budgetary allocations and releases for institutions investigating and prosecuting crimes, and the promotion of good governance in the country, generally,” he added.
But his comments have been opposed by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), which has rebuked him for dismissing resource difficulties at the OSP.
According to the Senior Programmes Officer for GII, Mary Addah, the Attorney General’s comments about funds allocated to the OSP were unfair.
According to her, the fact remained that the office needed resources to function.
“The statement of the Attorney General as to whether our advocacy and concerns, the real concerns we raised about the funding issues remain relevant. Whether they are malicious or ill-informed, the fact remains that the new office which needs resources to operate has not been resourced enough.
“The Attorney General says his office has not been resourced as that of the OSP but I think that is a very unfortunate comparison to make,” she told JoyNews.