A former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, has exposed what can be described as flaws in the Special Prosecutor Bill 2017, which aims at setting up a separate office to deal with issues of corruption.
In a 25-page critique of the Bill, Mr Amidu said: “The attempt to distinguish types of corruption offences that may be investigated and prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor sends the clear message to Ghanaians that the President and his Government now accept that certain types of corruption offences are not serious for prosecution or at least to be prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor.
"Fourth, the question may be asked, who will be responsible for investigating and prosecuting categories of corruption offences by the same public officers and politically exposed persons not meeting the standards in Clause 3 (4), or are they then immune from prosecution for such corruption offences?”
The Citizen Vigilante wants the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, to ensure that such questionable clauses are corrected to enable the office to serve its rightful purpose.
“Will somebody call the President’s attention to read Clause 3 of the Bill before Parliament and confirm whether or not he endorsed the exception in sub-clause 4 for submission to Parliament? The retention of sub-clause 4 of Clause 3 of the Bill will make it unnecessary to enact any Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill into law.”
“I have no doubt that the insertion of Clause 3 (4) that negates the whole Bill before Parliament was done by a strong and powerful cabal which wishes to harvest its share of the proceeds of corruption that comes with public officers who find their way into public office through the deception of the appointing authority of rendering service with integrity to the Republic. The insertion of Clause 3 (4) in the Bill is therefore a wake-up call for the President to watch his so-called incorruptible appointees because as the saying goes, it is not all that glitters which is gold.”
“I am fortified in the belief that the attempt to pull a fast one on Ghanaians by the insertion of Clause 3 (4) of the Bill to negate the fight against corruption is the work of a strong and powerful cabal within the government because they succeeded in ensuring that the Memorandum to the Bill was silent on this important matter so that it will not catch the eye of the casual Ghanaian reading public.”
The Office of a Special Prosecutor was a major campaign promise of Nana Akufo-Addo while he was the opposition candidate in the December 2016 elections.
While many have said that the office would be a duplication of roles, because there are agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Economic and Organised Crime Office that are responsible for investigating corruption, others have praised its implementation and called on the president to make it truly independent of political interference.
Meanwhile, Mr. Amidu is not pleased with the consultative processes leading up to the laying of the Bill among other things.
Click here for Martin Amidu's critique of the Bill: MARTIN AMIDU.pdf