The 44-year-old Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has sent direct and clear signals that he was not bluffing when he told Parliament’s Appointments Committee in July 2021 during his vetting, that if given the nod to be Special Persecutor, he would carve a unique style of fighting corruption in the country without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.
News broke yesterday that Kissi Agyebeng, has charged the former Municipal Chief Executive-nominee for Juaben, Alexander Sarfo-Kantanka with 26 counts of corruption and the accused is due to appear in court in Kumasi on Wednesday 1 June.
Last year November, the Special Prosecutor invited Alexander Sarfo-Kantanka to answer questions connected to corruption-related offences that enveloped the elections he lost.
Alexander Sarfo-Kantanka was seen in a viral video clip, demanding a refund of various amounts of money he had paid to Assembly Members to influence them vote for him. In plain language, he was furious his bribe money did not influence the Electoral College and he lost despite the bribe he paid.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) commenced investigations into the suspected act of corruption in respect of a public election and that investigation is what has led to the pending prosecution.
The nature of the offence for which Kissi Agyebeng has investigated and would be prosecuting Alexander Sarfo-Kantanka is a rather interesting one for two main reasons.
Firstly, it has become common knowledge that most Ghanaian politicians use monetary inducement and other valuable items to influence prospective voters at elections; be it internal polls or national elections.
Secondly, the accused in question, Alexander Sarfo-Kantanka, was the President’s Municipal Chief Executive nominee and therefore most unlikely to have been investigated and prosecuted for giving money to delegates.
The rather bold step taken by Kissi Agyebeng would be a useful lesson for all politicians contesting public elections. It would be sheer tomfoolery for politicians to not take a cue from investigations and persecution.
This is the President’s nominee, being prosecuted for allegedly bribing delegates under the President’s own government. It is an uncommon development in our political history.
The New Publisher applauds Kissi Agyebeng for being bold and acting without fear or favour.
What this means is that the various big names that have been speculated as wannabe-presidential-candidates for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) should be extra careful as their party laces boots for primaries.
Any of them that would be found to have acted in a way that constitutes an attempt to influence delegates could face investigations and prosecution just as is happening to Alexander Sarfo-Kantanka.
Same applies to prospective candidates of all other political parties.
Over the years, there have been several reported cases and even confessions of monetary inducements in public elections. Delegates have seen election campaigns as a time to fleece candidates and amass wealth.
Generally, it is considered wrong and the law books consider it as corruption but it is an anomaly that has become common to an extent it is has become a normalized abnormality.
Kissi Agyabeng, indirectly, is serving notice that things would not be the same anymore and all illegal conducts that have become part of our electoral culture would have to stop.
He is clearly raising the bar and urging all stakeholders in the electoral chain to not compromise on standards of integrity, probity and accountability.
This is a man worth applauding and encouraging.
The New Publisher celebrates Kissi Agyabeng and we remind all politicians of the African adage that “when you see your neighbour’s beard on fire, you protect yours with water.”