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The OSP said that though the conduct of Mr. Adu Boahen amounted to trading in influence or influence peddling, which is closely associated with corruption, there was no actual criminal prohibition of his acts.
It is recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo sacked Mr Adu Boahen for being captured in a documentary dubbed ‘Galamsey Economy’, a documentary compiled by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has terminated the appointment of the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Charles Adu Boahen, with immediate effect.
“After being made aware of the allegations levelled against the Minister in the exposé, ‘Galamsey Economy’, the President spoke to Mr. Adu Boahen, after which he took the decision to terminate his appointment, and also to refer the matter to the Special Prosecutor for further investigations.
“The President thanked Mr. Adu Boahen for his strong services to his government since his appointment in 2017, and wished him well in his future endeavours,” a statement issued by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin said on Monday, November 14, 2022 said.
The OSP accordingly investigated the matter.
In its report issued on Monday, October 30, the OSP said upon determining that the referral and complaint spoke to the same set of allegations against Mr. Adu Boahen and that they were within the mandate of the OSP, authorised the commencement of preliminary investigation into the matter in accordance with regulation 5(1)(b) and subsequently, a full investigation under regulations 5(1)(c) and 6 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018 (L.I. 2374).
The investigation was conducted with as little intrusion into the privacy of persons as the circumstances permitted. The contents of the flash drive attached to the complaint filed by Tiger Eye P.I. were forensically verified as a true reflection of the events represented thereon. The investigation spanned a period of six (6) months. The identities of persons are disclosed where necessary.
“The allegations against Mr. Adu Boahen are situated in the context of an undercover investigative journalistic type of sting operations. Typically, a sting operation takes the form of the creation of a platform or opportunity for persons believed or suspected to be disposed to or involved in the commission of a crime to actually commit the crime, thus providing hard evidence for their successful prosecution and punishment.
“In the context of undercover investigative journalism, sting operations are usually characterised by the feigning of interest in a matter by undercover agents and the provision by them of opportunities for the commission of prohibited acts by the person of interest through winning the confidence of the person of interest for the person of interest to reveal his or her criminal activities or for the person of interest to commit a crime. The undercover agents usually secretly audio-visually records the acts of the person of interest as evidence of their criminal culpability.
“Sting operations are controversial and divisive of opinion. This largely stems from the fact that the undercover agent never has a real intention of committing a crime and yet sets up the props and the platform for the commission of a crime by the person under investigation. In particular, the undercover investigative journalistic type evokes intense reaction from its critics. The triggers of the consternation of the opponents of this type of evidence collection are summed up under three heads. First, the opposers of undercover investigative journalistic sting operations argue that unless sanctioned by the state, a private person has no business provoking and encouraging the commission of a crime by a person and proceeding to audio-visually record the person in the act of the commission of the crime without that person’s consent. In the estimation of the opposers, the audio-visual recording of a person without his consent violates that person’s right to privacy.
“The opponents of undercover investigative journalistic sting operations also argue that it amounts to entrapment. On this score, the opposers posit that the person caught on camera committing criminal acts had no intention of committing a crime from the onset but went along with the seed sown by the undercover agent and the suggestion and encouragement of the undercover agent. And that but for the poisonous seed sown by the undercover agent and his active suggestion and encouragement, the person caught in the act and on tape would not have committed the crime.”
“…Though the conduct of Mr. Adu Boahen amounts to trading in influence or influence peddling, which is closely associated with corruption, there is no actual criminal prohibition of his acts in respect of which the OSP has a mandate to further act. On that reckoning, the Special Prosecutor directs the closure, at this time, of the investigation in respect of allegations of corruption and corruption-related offences involving Charles Adu Boahen contained in the investigative documentary titled Galamsey Economy published by Tiger Eye P.I. The investigation may be re-opened should the circumstances and further facts so dictate.
“The non-prohibition of most predicate acts of corruption and corruption-related offences engenders impunity of malevolent conduct and the erosion of democratic tenets, which spawn formidable hurdles in the fight against corruption, especially in the public sector. On this score, the OSP calls for the passage of a Corrupt Practices Act to comprehensively codify the prohibition of all forms of corruption.
“Further, the OSP joins up with the positively persistent calls of the pressure group, OccupyGhana for the passage of a Conduct of Public Officers Act to properly regulate the conduct of public officers.”