General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
The Minority in Parliament has called for an immediate withdrawal of the Special Prosecutor Bill.
According to Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the bill does not fulfill the mandatory 14 day constitutional process for its introduction in Parliament.
He further stated that the since the Bill was gazetted on 14th July, it should have been laid on or after 28th July and not the original date on which it was laid.
Speaking on the floor of the house, Haruna Iddrisu said the Attorney General must relay the Bill , adding that due process should be followed in laying the bill before the house for the second time.
“We cannot proceed as the Chairman has recommended. The best will be for the Attorney General to withdraw this Bill…”Mr. Iddrisu insisted.
The setting up of the office of the Special Prosecutor was one of the key campaign promises made by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo which he explained was necessary in tackling corruption related issues in the country
The rationale was also to bring allegations of political witch-hunting usually associated with previous prosecutions of political officers to an end.
Some critics have however argued that the creation of the office contravenes Article 88 of the constitution.
Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution states:
(1) There shall be an Attorney-General of Ghana who shall be a Minister of State and the principal legal adviser to the Government.
(2) The Attorney-General shall discharge such other duties of a legal nature as may be referred or assigned to him by the President, or imposed on him by this Constitution or any other law.
(3) The Attorney-General shall be responsible for the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of criminal offences.
(4) All offences prosecuted in the name of the Republic of Ghana shall be at the suit of the Attorney-General or any other person authorised by him in accordance with any law.
(5) The Attorney-General shall be responsible for the institution and conduct of all civil cases on behalf of the State; and all civil proceedings against the State shall be instituted against the Attorney-General as defendant.