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23
Sat, Sep

Inputs into Special Prosecutor Office Bill still welcome

Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu (left), Majority leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, interacting with Alhaji Inusah Fuseini (right), Ranking Member, Committee on Constitution, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Mr Ben Abdallah Banda, Chairman, Committee on Constitution, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

Parliament says public inputs and suggestions on the Bill for the Office of the Special Prosecutor are still welcome.

The Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Mr Ben Abdallah Banda, said until the bill was passed into law, recommendations from the public would be considered by the committee to improve its content.

Addressing the closing ceremony of a stakeholders’ conference to discuss views and perspective of civil society organisations (CSOs) on the bill, Mr Banda said Parliament attached great importance to inputs from CSOs and other members of the public.

He said Parliament, in its wisdom, deemed it necessary to have a brainstorming session on the bill so that the public could all take ownership of the project.

Special Prosecution Agency

A professor in law, Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh said the creation of the Office of Special Prosecutor was good for the country’s democracy and the fight against corruption at the top.

Prof Prempeh said it was erroneous for people to think that the Office of the Special Prosecutor would usurp the role of the Attorney-General and noted that if in doubt people could consider it as “Special Prosecution Agency.”

For his part, the Member of Parliament for Adentan, Mr Samuel Buabeng Asamoah, said the Office of the Special Prosecutor would greatly assist in fighting political corruption.

Mr Shaibu Mahama (standing), MP for Daboya-Mankarigu, making a suggestion at the forumMr Shaibu Mahama (standing), MP for Daboya-Mankarigu, making a suggestion at the forum

Three-tier approach

An Investigating Advisor for Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC-Ghana), a civil society organisation, Mr Ken Isaac, recommended a three-tier force for the special prosecutor.

He said tier-one should include conducting investigations from inception to prosecution, while tier two should involve directing other law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations and in the tier three supervise other law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations.

He said the process would make the special prosecutor to be aware of cases that were under investigations and also to follow up diligently.

Minority supports bill

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, last Tuesday said the Special Prosecutor’s Bill, though in its current form is not perfect, was needed by the country.

He said corruption hurt economies and “that is why all of us should be united around this noble cause.

“The people need it, the economy needs it, the environment needs it and Ghana needs it,” he noted and added that although the bill in its current form may be not be perfect, no bill has ever been.”

He, therefore, advocated a consensus among CSOs and other stakeholders to ensure the bill succeeded.

Mr Iddrisu said corruption could best be fought through the creation and strengthening of systems for accountability, transparency and public participation.