6 Haile Selassie Ave, South Ridge, Accra, Ghana.                  

  • Contact Time: Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm

  • Phone Number: 0800-000-700

  • Contact Mail: info@osp.gov.gh

OSP Sensitization

Electoral Corruption

The Office accepted an invitation from the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and its partners to present on “Electoral Corruption Offences and Sanctions in line with the OSP’s mandate” at their Media Reporting Workshop on 7 February 2024. The workshop was held at Fiesta Royale Hotel in Accra.

Participation

A total of 64 participants attended the programme, with a majority being media personnel. Among the public institutions invited to present, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) were represented.

The presentation by OSP was led by Director Samuel Appiah Darko, and focused on electoral corruption offences that fall within the mandate of the OSP.

The presentation covered the following topics:

  1. The OSP and its Mandate
  2. Relevant Legislation for Operation of the OSP
  • Electoral Corruption
  1. Effective Reporting on Electoral Offences

Director Darko was very deliberate in explaining to the journalists the various offences that the Office has the mandate to pursue and those outside the OSP’s mandate. He also explained the four-fold mandate of the Office, taking time to emphasize the linkages among them.

The Director then explained the various laws and offences that the Office could pursue, finally narrowing down to the specific electoral offences that the OSP could take on. Below is a shot of the Office’s jurisdictional sections within the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

Image

 

The conversation with the journalists delved into the electoral corruption offences that the Office has the mandate to pursue. These are sections 256 and 258 of Act 29. Section 256 states that,

 “A person shall not act in a manner that amounts to corruption, intimidation or personation in respect of a public election.”

According to section 258 of Act 29,

“A person who, as a public officer charged with the counting of votes or the making of a return at a public election, willfully falsifies the account of the votes or makes a false return commits a second-degree felony.”

The Director explained these two offences and provided the corresponding sanctions for them, according to the law. He used examples from recent elections to explain the offences. He also detailed what the OSP had done with respect to corruption in recent elections. He guided participants to recognize how vote buying with impunity had reduced in the most recent elections owing to the OSP’s intervention.

The final session of the presentation focused on effective reporting of electoral offences by the media. The Director of SRC made the session very practical as he showed the journalists videos of reporter interviews with electorates. He used the videos to demonstrate the limited probing done by the reporters. He mentioned that further questioning along certain lines could have revealed much more information that could serve as evidence for the OSP. He reminded journalists of the power they have to fight corruption and appealed to them to support the Office with their work.

The session closed with Questions and Comments on the presentation and the general work of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

The Governing Board consists of the Special Prosecutor, the Deputy Special Prosecutor, six institutional representatives from six (6) public anti-corruption, security and intelligence agencies, not below the rank of Director nominated by the heads of the respective agencies, and one (1) other people who is female representing the anti-corruption Civil Society Organizations. The Board elects its own chairperson from amongst its members other than the Special Prosecutor and the Deputy Special Prosecutor to; 
  1. formulate policies necessary for the achievement of the objects of the Office;
  2. ensure the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Office;
  3. advise the Special Prosecutor on the recruitment and selection of the Secretary and other senior staff of the Office;
  4. develop and monitor the implementation of a code of conduct for the staff of the Office; 
  5. facilitate cooperation between the Office and relevant national investigative bodies to ensure the proper and effective performance of the functions of the Office; and
  6. advice the Special Prosecutor on any policy matters that may be referred to the Board by the Special Prosecutor.

Sustainability

Feedback obtained from the journalists at the workshop showed that they had thoroughly enjoyed the session by the OSP. Many of them stated that this was the most comprehensive education they had received about the Office’s mandate. Some were also grateful for the session on reporting effectively, considering how it could make them an asset to the investigative work of the OSP.

Recommendation

The organisers of the programme have proposed replication of the training and similar events in other regions. The OSP should take advantage of these opportunities to reach more people with education about the Office. This ultimately will bring about realistic expectations of the Office and its work.

Below are a few selected pictures from the programme.

Image
Image
Image

Address

 6 Haile Selassie Avenue, South Ridge, Accra

 0800-000-700

 info@osp.gov.gh

 Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:00