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Charles Adu Boahen: OSP Clears Former Minister Of Criminal Activity In Bribery And Corruption Probe

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) says the conduct of a former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, cannot amount to criminal activity following its conclusion of a bribery and corruption probe.

Adu Boahen was sacked from office in November last year after being implicated in a corruption documentary titled “Galamsey Economy” by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Teasers from the expose showed Adu Boahen suggesting to undercover agents who posed as potential investors to make an appearance fee of USD200,000 to Vice President Mahamadu Bawumia for backing in establishing a business in Ghana. He also received a cash gift of US$40,000 as “shopping money”, as well as the promise of a 20% cut on the intended investment.

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The President, in addition to terminating his appointment then referred the matter to the Special Prosecutor for investigation.

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But the OSP in a report released today, October 30, said Adu Boahen’s conduct may not be criminal under Ghana’s jurisdiction. Mainly calling it “influence peddling”, the OSP said it did not have the mandate to further act in the case.

“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,” it said in its report.

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“The conduct of Mr. Adu Boahen amounts to trading in influence or influence peddling. This is the practice of using one’s influence or connections in public office or with persons in public office to obtain favours or preferential treatment for oneself or for another person, usually in return for payment. These acts have not been specifically prohibited in our jurisdiction as crimes per se. However, they are gravely frowned upon and punishable as crimes in some jurisdictions,” the report added.

Although also calling the conduct of Adu Boahen improper, the OSP recommended that actors pass the Conduct of Public Officers Act – a bill currently under Cabinet scrutiny which is expected to deal with issues of influence peddling and remove extensions given to public officers to declare assets and liabilities.

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