General News of Sunday, 22 January 2017
Ghana’s parliament will have to approve the proposed Independent Prosecutor to be appointed by the president, an indication that whoever occupies the position will not be partial and engender greater public confidence in the office, Gloria Akuffo, Minister-Designate for the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, has said.
According to her, the general perception among the public is that when a new government takes office, members of the previous government are hounded by being put before court, but the creation of the Office of the Independent Prosecutor will deal with such perception.
Answering questions during her vetting on Saturday January 21, Ms Akuffo said: “Corruption has become a worrisome problem… and has become a developmental issue. There have been a lot of calls for a solution to be found to it.
“The proposed Independent Prosecutor‘s office is intended to be one of the ways that will deal specifically with the canker of corruption in the public sector. It is true that by the constitution the Attorney General has the power to prosecute criminal matters, but it also has the power to delegate that authority and it is under that that the office will be set up with a specific remit to deal with public sector corruption.
“And the way to do it is by an Act of parliament. The person will be nominated by the president and then it will be crafted in such a manner that it will not fall foul of the constitution and it is intended to give confidence to the public that this is not a caricature that is intended, because there is always a perception that when a government comes in it starts hounding its opponents. To take away that perception and to give confidence to the public, it will have to have parliament to back that appointment.”
Touching on public confidence in the Independent Prosecutor, she said: “The solution lies in how the office is structured, the mode of appointment, how the office is structured, and security of tenure of office such that you will have a fixed term that may not coincide with the term of office of a president.
“These are some of the things that will give the public confidence that this is a truly independent person particularly because it will have to go to parliament.”