In 2019, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) The Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong had raised red flags about the suspicious nature of Kissi Agyabeng, the man nominated by President Akufo Addo to become the new Special Prosecutor. Ken Agyapong described him as a “Criminal” and one with a reputation for defending criminals.
“He [Kissi Agyabeng] is a foolish lawyer. Stupid…A lawyer who defends criminals. He defends any criminal in sight, it means he is a criminal,” Ken Ofori-Atta fired in Twi during an interview granted him by Kofi TV.
Ken Agyapong was reacting to inferences made by Kissi Agyabeng at the time that the Assin Central MP may have had a hand in the assassination of investigative journalist, Ahmed Hussein Suale, who was investigating alleged corruption between the top echelon of the Jubilee House and the disgraced former President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwasi Nyantakyi.
Already, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have vowed to oppose Kissi Agyabeng’s appointment as the SP because of his close links to the Jubilee House and the scandalous Agyapa Royalties deal.
Also, Mr. Agyabeng is a personal lawyer to Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the cousin of President Akufo Addo who forms the nucleus of powerful and close advisors to the President. In fact “Gabby” wields that much power that he is described as the de facto Prime Minister for his reported stranglehold on the President.
In 2020 when Gabby sued US-based Ghanaians journalist, Kevin Ekow Taylor, it was Agyabeng who represented him in court in the shambolic suit that got Mr. Taylor’s name spelled wrongly.
Also, Agyabeng is somehow linked to the scandalous Agyapa Royalties deal that led to the resignation of Martin Amidu when he accused President Akufo Addo as the “Mother Serpent of Corruption” behind the shad
Kissi Agyabeng is a partner at Cromwell Gray LLP and had in 2017 worked with White and Case, the London-based law firm that was virtually hand-picked by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko to serve as legal advisors to the scandalous Agyapa Royalty deal that was surreptitiously set up to hijack more than US$2.5 billion of Ghana mineral royalties futures value into the hands of a group of faceless investors linked to cronies at the Finance Ministries and the Jubilee House.
“Mr. Agyabeng is a fine lawyer. But if he wants to be SP as reported then he must COMMIT to recuse himself from ALL Agyapa matters. Given his close links to White & Case & ALA (run by Agyapa supporter, Mr. Ochere-Darko), else CSOs will oppose his appointment,” warned Bright Simmons, a founding member of the policy think-tank IMANI.
Critics have said the Akufo Administration is attempting to appoint a Special Prosecutor loyal to the Presidency and potentially going to be impotent in going after corrupt acts of a government that is already ranking as one of the most corrupt in the history of the country’s democracy.
Meanwhile, there is serious turmoil brewing at the Special Prosecutor’s Office over the appointment of Agyabeng, Whatsup News can report.
To begin with, Cynthia Lamptey, an experienced Senior State Attorney who had fought many high profile public corruption allegations have been acting as the stand-in Special Prosecutor (SP) when her boss and former SP, Martin Amidu unceremoniously resigned after jabbing President Akufo Addo for being corrupt and interfering in the job of the independent SP in fighting corruption.
Also, Whatsup News has gathered from reliable sources that Ms. Lamptey had earlier been approached by some individuals at the Jubilee House assuring her that she will be confirmed as the substantive SP.
However, while this negotiation was ongoing, President Akufo Addo suddenly appointed Lawyer Kissi Agyabeng as substantive SP to take over from the more experienced Lamptey.
The new Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame on April 16, 2021, written to President Akufo Addo to jointly select Kissi Agyabeng as the next SP. Incidentally, Kissi Agyabeng is reportedly close to Godfred Dame.
Even though the Attorney General is clothed with the power to nominate an eligible candidate for the position for the President to appoint, the appointment is subject to the approval of a majority of all Members of Parliament.
Kissi Agyaben is a 42-year-old whom critics have said does not have the pedigree comparable to Cynthia Lamptey to man the SP’s office.
Agyabeng was born in 1978 and attended the Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York and has since held several interesting positions, including the Chairman of the Electronic Communications Tribunal, Ghana (Since 2019), Vice Chairman, Appeals Committee, Ghana Football Association (2017 – 2018) Associate – African Center for Cyber Law and Cyber Crime Prevention (Since 2010) National Coordinator – Commonwealth Moot Court Competition on International Criminal Justice (Since 2017) Former Editor, Ghana Monthly Judgments (2008-2009), among others.
In comparison, however, Cynthia Lamptey who is being edged out from becoming the substantive SP is a more experienced legal luminary who was employed as a state attorney at the Attorney-General’s Department in 1995 and rose through the ranks till she was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions during the John Mahama administration.
As the country’s chief prosecutor, she handled several high-profile prosecutions. Some of her prosecutions include the case of the alleged stealing GHC 86.9 million by an Executive Director of the National Service Scheme and the criminal prosecution of Alfred Agbesi Woyome in the controversial GHC 52 million cedis judgment debt saga.