Why we exist and what we seek to achieve
The Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) falls seriously short of the broad and expansive international and regional definitions and meaning ascribed to corruption and corruption-related offences by the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Prevention and Combating Corruptions, and the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on the Fight against Corruption. Section 79 of Act 959 narrowly defines corruption and corruption-related offences to mean offences under:
(a) Sections 146 (dishonestly receiving property); 151 (Extortion); 179 (c) (using public office for profit); 239 (corruption of and by public officer or juror); 252 (accepting or giving bribe to influence a public officer or juror); 253 (corrupt promise by judicial officer or juror); 254 (corrupt selection of juror); 256 (corruption, intimidation and personation in respect of election); 258 (falsification of returns at election); and 260 (withholding of public money by public officer) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29);
(b) Section 92 (2) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 633); and
(c) Existent offences under enactments arising out of or consequent to offences referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).
The Office of the Special Prosecutor does not, therefore, have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute other crimes of dishonesty such as stealing, fraud by false pretences, other economic, financial and commercial crimes which the public erroneously thinks it has power to deal with.
The Special Prosecutor and authorized officers exercise the powers of a police officer specified in the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) or any other enactment in the discharge of their functions.