General News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Political scientist, Dr. Richard Amoako Baah has backed the decision by President Nana Akufo-Addo to appoint a Special Prosecutor but wants that individual to be truly independent without any interference from government.
Speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said Ghana doesn’t need a ‘’bull dog’’ Special Prosecutor who will harass the minority.
The former lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) expressed confidence in the president of living by his word that, he will not interfere with the work of the Special Prosecutor and so, ‘’if the Special Prosecutor decides to investigate you, then you will be dealt with till its logical conclusion.’’ He called on the appointees of Nana Addo not to be deceived in corrupting themselves and expect a bailout from the president.
‘’As much as possible there will be no political interference. You should not look out to the president for a bailout because the Special Prosecutor has been appointed to prosecute corrupt officials. We don’t want a bull dog Special Prosecutor who will use his office to harass the minority.
This will undermine the integrity of that office. We need a matured person, experienced, logical and someone who will not disgrace the president. We don’t need someone who will rush in prosecuting people without due diligence. We don’t want someone who will be losing cases in court because they failed in executing their job properly,’’ he said.
When asked to name a particular person he feels can handle that office, he said, there are more qualified individuals to do the job but was quick to add that, lawyer Akoto Ampaw whose name has come up for the post is more than apt for the job. President Akufo-Addo in 2016 hinted of appointing a Special Prosecutor to deal with cases of corruption.
In his first media interview with the BBC after he was declared winner, the president said this was to ensure that, “screams of witch-hunting etc. don’t arise by establishing an Office of Special Prosecutor of somebody who will be independent of the Executive and somebody whose remits will be to investigate and tackle issues of corruption.” “… and hopefully that person is going to be somebody who commands respect of the society and at the same time has an independent mind to make the decisions.”
“What we have to be careful of in our situation is, one, to witch-hunt, but at the same time, we ought not to give the impression that those of us in political life have some sort of immunity from investigation merely because we are politicians, I don’t think that will be right, we are citizens of Ghana first and foremost,” he noted.
The President in his first State of the Nation Address commented on the Special Prosecutor’s office stressing that ‘’…the office of the Special Prosecutor has been shown to work in other places, and I shall be bringing legislation before the House for its rapid establishment.
I am satisfied that the Office will be established in a manner consistent with the Constitution. I will propose for legislation amendments to the current asset declaration regime to make it more effective.’’