General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
The Special Prosecutor’s office is a tool to be deployed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to witch-hunt its political opponent, especially the officials of immediate past John Dramani Mahama led administration alleged a Member of the Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs select Committee of Parliament and Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson Defiamekpor.
He argued that the constitution grants the Attorney General the power to investigate and prosecute any crime, economic or otherwise, perpetrated against the state, “so am surprise why this government is in the rush to establish independent prosecutor’s office at all cost” adding that the NPP is only out there to prosecute it political opponents without recourse to constitutional provisions.
“If you think that certain individuals have committed economic crimes against the state, you don’t have to wait for a non-existent person to come before you conduct an investigation and prosecute them according to provisions under the law. In any case why do we have an Attorney General, if it cannot conduct prosecutions, how about institutions like EOCO and the CID?” he rhetorically asked.
The South Dayi lawmaker noted that If the Special Prosecutor’s office is not being created to witch hunt people, the Attorney General’s office would have taken its time to properly prepare the Bill and then subsequently lay it before Parliament in adherence to Procedures and Standing Order of Parliament, Observed the South Dayi Legislature, adding that the inability of the government to issue copies of the bill to Members of Parliament is a breach of the constitution.
” The Bill itself is full of errors”, he said. “Article 106:2(a) of the Constitution state that before any Bill is laid before Parliament it must first be gazetted for 21 days, which did not happen in this case.
You just cannot come to Parliament and say; legal and Constitutional Committee, this is the Bill work on it. We do not do things without recourse to the Speaker of the House, and the Speaker can also not refer the Bill to his office. He has to refer it to Preliminary who would intend forward it the house for deliberation and consideration”, he explained on Onua FM’s morning show “Yen Nsem Pa” on Thursday, hosted by Bright Kwesi Asempa.
Rockson Defiamekpo further debunked some assertions, in both mainstream and social media, that the Minority in Parliament is petrified by the creation of a Special Prosecutor, explaining that “I’m not sure the NPP created EOCO, CHRAJ, BNI or the CID department. We are never scared of the creation of any Statutory body, all we are saying is that the right things must be done in accordance with the law. In fact, we in the Minority have always maintained that we would support any Government policy or initiative seeks to fight corruptions in the country”.
Meanwhile, MP for Kpandai, Mathew Nyindam, in contributing to the same issue, opined that the minority is always frightened whenever the Special Prosecutor is mentioned, adding that the President, Nana Akuffo-Addo, is not in to witch-hunt anybody, but to protect the national purse and also chase anyone who committed some economic crime against the State.
He also debunked Mr. Defiamekpo’s assertion that the Bill was laid before Parliament without recourse to due diligence. He explained that this is not the only time a Bill has been laid before Parliament under Certificate of Urgency, where MPs have not been given copies of the Bill, thereby reechoing the explanation given by the Majority Leader of the house in relation to the fire incident that occurred at the Job-600 facility, as the main reason why the MPs failed to be issued their copies of the Bill.