General News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, a Deputy Minister of Justice and a Deputy Attorney-General, has said that government is considering a seven-year tenure of office for the Special Prosecutor.
He revealed this in an interview with Class FM on Tuesday, July 18.
According to him, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration is looking at “a fixed tenure of seven years, so there is going to be a security of tenure of office to guarantee the person’s work so that the person will not be afraid of any political interference”.
This he said will address concerns by governance experts and legal practitioners that government is not prepared “to prosecute one of their own”.
For him, such a move to guarantee the Special Prosecutor job security will ensure that “cases are prosecuted without fear or favour”.
Responding to accusations by the Minority in Parliament that government has breached Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution as it laid the Office of Special Prosecutor bill in Parliament for consideration and approval on Tuesday July 18, Mr Kpemka said there are cases when bills are gazetted for 14 days, “but this particular one it is again weighed on Article 106 [clause 13] which says that in circumstances such that it is determined to be of an urgent nature then the gazetting is not necessary”.
Members of Parliament of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had argued that the laying of the bill breaches Article 106 (2b) of the constitution which states that any bill that will be laid in Parliament should be gazetted at least 14 days before the date of its introduction in the House.
A former Deputy Attorney General, Dr Dominic Ayine, in bringing the anomaly to the attention of the House said his checks from the Assembly Press indicate that the bill has not been taken through the constitutional processes.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Ocquaye, decided to refer the bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for consideration.