The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) was established as the gold-standard anti-corruption, independent agency in Ghana to help curb the menace of corruption in the country.
In May 2022, the OSP, led by Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyabeng, charged a Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) nominee of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the Juaben Municipal Assembly in the Ashanti Region, Alexander Kwabena Sarfo-Kantanka, with 26 counts of corruption for allegedly trying to induce persons who were to confirm his nomination.
In a statement issued on May 24, 2024, the Special Prosecutor indicated that the charges against Sarfo-Kantanka are for corruption allegations regarding elections for his confirmation as MCE.
“The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has charged the nominee for the position of Chief Executive of Juaben Municipal Assembly, Alexander Kwabena Sarfo-Kantanka with Twenty-Six (26) counts of corruption in respect of a public election – arising out of two public elections conducted in September and November 2021 for the confirmation or otherwise of his nomination,” portion of the statement read.
Recently, the OSP invited a National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary aspirant, the Ejura Sekyeredumase Constituency, Juliana Kinang Wassan, after she was captured in a viral video throwing out money on the day of the presidential and parliamentary primaries of the party.
“The OSP considers you as a person necessary for investigation. You are directed to attend the Office of the Special Prosecutor at 6 Haile Selassie Avenue, South Ridge, Accra, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10 am for interviewing.
“You may be accompanied by counsel of your choice,” parts of a letter written to the aspirant reads.
Yet, the OSP has been silent on the recent allegation of vote buying in the recent Kumawu and Assin North parliamentary by-elections.
Here are some of the allegations of inducement during the Assin North by-election which was made by notable Ghanaians.
NDC communicator narrates how he allegedly caught John Boadu trying to ‘bribe’ EC officials
A member of the communication team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Courage Makafiji Nunekpeku, said that he caught the former general secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, trying to induce officials of the EC.
He said that after confronting John Boadu, he (the former NPP general secretary) told him that the EC official was his in-law whom he had not seen for a long time and that was why he was giving him the money.
“… there was this long convoy of about 10 vehicles, led by John Boadu, the former secretary of the NPP… He (John Boadu) went to the presiding officer and gave them canned malt first, then he pulled out a bundle of money from his pocket and gave it to the guy. Immediately, John Boadu gave the money to him, I confronted him and told him he could not be doing that,” he narrated in Twi in an Accra FM interview on Friday, monitored by GhanaWeb.
The former general secretary has been captured in a viral admitting that he gave money to an official of the EC. An aminated John Buadu, however, indicated that the EC official he gave the money to was his family relation. He added that there is nothing wrong with giving people money to win their support during elections.
Makafiji Nunekpeku also said that he and his team stopped an ongoing vote-buying operation at a house close to the Bramha DA Primary School polling station which was led by the NPP deputy regional chairman for the Ashanti Region.
Assin North: I caught a minister who comes from the Volta Region sharing money on election day – Sam George
The Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George, speaking in an interview on TV3, on July 1, 2023, also said that he caught one minister of state distributing money to residents of Assin North on the day of the elections.
“I work with honourable Omani in certain parts of the constituency overseeing eight polling stations in the Ningo area… as early as 5:00 am, a sitting minister of state was standing at the polling station and when our people arrived, he was offering them GH¢200,” he said.
Sam George also said that when he questioned the minister about his actions, he said he had done nothing wrong.
“He offered several of them the money and when I confronted him, he said he was coming to visit his sister. And I asked him; you come all the way from your constituency in the Volta Region to Assin North to visit your sister on election day at 5:00 am, are you a wizard?” he quizzed.
Assin North: NPP buying votes with GH¢200, GH¢300, police must act immediately – Minority leader alleges
The Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson also alleged that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) are engaged in vote buying in the ongoing Assin North by-elections.
According to him, he has come across at least 10 centres close to polling stations where electorates are being given between GH¢200 and GH¢300 before they go and vote or after they have voted.
Speaking to the media at one of the polling stations in Assin North, the Majority leader called on the Ghana Police Service to act immediately and arrest all the persons involved in the vote-buying exercise.
“I don’t understand why the NPP would impoverish the people and come and give them money (during election day). It is so sad, it is so shameful and we are asking the police to immediately ensure that within a 5-kilometre radius, nobody is allowed to be sharing money of this magnitude.
“I am shocked with what I have seen here. Our democracy is dying, NPP is killing our democracy, they have changed it to moneycracy… I have seen 10 different houses where they are sharing the money. I can take you there, they are sharing GH¢200 and GH¢300,” he said.
In fact, some members of the NPP have also made vote-buying allegations against Ato-Forson and the NDC.
If Sarfo-Kantanka is being prosecuted for trying to induce voters in an election, why are all these vote-buying allegations not being investigated by the OSP?
Why has the OSP not invited all the persons who alleged corrupt activities during the by-elections?
Are we to accept that giving money to voters on election day is normal, as asserted by some of the people who were caught in the act?