Monday, 26 February

Labianca case: Court ruling 'extremely inimical' 1to corruption fight - OSP

Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng ESQ

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has said a court ruling quashing its findings against Colonel Kwadwo Damoah, a former Commissioner of the Customs Division at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and Joseph Adu Kyei, a former Deputy Commissioner of the Division, bodes ill consequences for the fight against corruption.

The OSP’s report had accused Colonel Damoah and Mr Adu Kyei, of wrongdoing in the Labianca case.

The report alleged that the two officials used their positions to grant favourable tax treatment to Labianca Company, a frozen foods company owned by Council of State member Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh.

The two officials subsequently dragged the OSP to court in November 2022 to restore their reputation.

In a statement on the Republic v The Office of the Special Prosecutor, Ex parte Col. Kwadwo Damoah/Joseph Adu-Kyei case, the Special Prosecutor said: "An Accra High Court on 27 November 2023 quashed adverse findings in the report of the OSP on 3 August 2022 against Col. Damoah (Rtd) and Joseph Adu-Kyei".

"The Court concluded that, the OSP is not a court of competent jurisdiction or a Commission of Enquiry to make adverse findings.

The court also prohibited the OSP from further investigating Col. Damoah (Rtd) and Joseph Adu-Kyei in respect of the adverse findings".

"The OSP rejects the decision of the court in its entirety. 

In arriving at the findings of the matter, the OSP did not constitute itself into a court or a Commission of Enquiry". 

It said: "The findings were based on investigations carried out by the OSP and the OSP is mandated by law to publish detected acts of corruption and its publication of the investigation report is in accordance with its statutory mandate".

"Further, the decision of the court is extremely inimical to the fight against corruption and the administration of justice for a court to prohibit investigations. The OSP will not permit this decision to stand."