Mr. Kissi Agyebeng will easily succumb to the influence of authority should he become the next Special Prosecutor, Chief Executive Officer of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation, Professor Baffour Agyemang-Duah has said.
In his view, although Mr Agyebeng’s professional background make him fit for the role, he doubts he can perform independently due to his closeness to Mr. Otchere-Darko and Mr Godfred Dame.
Speaking to Eugene Bawelle on ClassFM’s current affairs programme ‘The watchdog’ on Saturday, 1 May 2021, Prof Agyemang-Duah said:
“We all know that Gabby is a strong pillar in this government – and that he [Agyebeng] has been in cases defending certain things and all. If you take all that into account, then you are compelled to raise serious doubts about his capacity to perform because if I take his relationships into account, then my answer immediately will be that he will be easily influenced by authority and that brings the issue of conflict of interest if, in fact, he has dabbled in the Agyapa deal as a defendant or employer or working for the government or the Attorney General”, Prof Agyemang-Duah argued.
Meanwhile, Mr Gary Nimako, a member of the governing New Patriotic Party’s legal team, revealed on the same programme that Mr Agyebeng, in a private phone conversation, denied having any links to, or dealings with the botched Agyapa mineral royalties deal.
“This is a matter where we are talking about the person’s dealings with Agyapa whatever royalties and the gentleman says that: ‘I’ve not dealt with Agyapa Royalties’”, Mr Nimako said.
According to him, “when the point was raise for the first time, I personally called him and I asked him that: ‘I’ve heard on the radio that he had some dealings or connections with Agyapa’ and he said: ‘My brother, look, Agyapa; I was not even consulted, I had no idea about Agyapa, I’ve not dealt with that matter in one way or the other'”.
“And I said: ‘Oh, is that so?’ and he said: ‘Yes’”, Mr Nimako revealed.
He said Mr Agyebeng is silent on the allegation “because he has been nominated” and “cannot come out to speak. He cannot speak”.
“Maybe, at the vetting, he would be asked and he would have the opportunity to really respond”, Mr Nimako added.
As far as the issue of Mr Agyebeng’s closeness to highly-placed people in the government or with connections to the government is concerned, Mr Nimako said that was neither here nor there.
“Now, another person says that: ‘Oh, but you were a classmate with the Attorney General, you were a classmate with another person, and, therefore, for that reason, we think that you cannot function and do your work properly’. I disagree with that point because being a classmate to another person does not mean that you can’t do your work”, he argued.
He said if that were the case, “then nobody can do anything in this country because as a matter of fact, we go to court and, sometimes, the judge sitting on the matter could be your classmate; he won’t recuse himself, he will deal with the matter and rule against you and pack your books and your diary and you go away and come and appeal, which may go in your favour or otherwise”.
One of the harshest critics of Mr Agyebeng following his nomination has been the very first occupant of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Mr Amidu.
The former Attorney General resigned citing interference from President Nana Akufo-Addo, particularly in connection with his corruption and anti-corruption risk assessment report on the Agyapa deal.
In an article, Mr Amidu drew close connections between Mr Kissi Agyebeng on the one hand and the Attorney General as well as the owner of Asaase Radio, Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, on the one hand, to buttress his assertion that the nomination was a carefully crafted plot by “persons implicated in the Agyapa Royalties Transaction corruption assessment report to pressurise the President to appoint their surrogate as the Special Prosecutor to safeguard their interests”.
Mr Amidu, who described Mr Agyebeng as the “Agyapa Special Prosecutor” and a “surrogate” said the nominee “is a personal friend and classmate of the Attorney General, and the owner of Asaase Radio, all of whom attended the University of Ghana’s Faculty of Law, and Ghana Law School”.