General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Nana Akufo-Addo is being set up to be embarrassed by some faceless persons who clandestinely introduced some clauses into the special prosecutor’s Bill to limit the prosecutor from investigating certain kinds of corruption and also removing corruption from the jurisdiction of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO).
This is the assertion of former Attorney General, Martin Amidu.
According to him, the clauses, which were not part of the original bill were introduced by “men and women who might have wormed their way into public office by deceiving the President about their credentials of integrity and honour to render loyal service to him and the Republic of Ghana.”
Martin Amidu said Clause 3(4) which was also not part of the original draft of the Bill, negates the whole promise that the President made during his campaign and after his assumption of office to fight corruption.
It states the Special Prosecutor is not to investigate and prosecute corruption offences relating to the Public Procurement Act, 2003 and the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 “….specified under paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (1) unless the commission of the offence is in respect of a vast quantity of assets that (a) constitute a substantial proportion of the resources of the country; (b) threaten the political stability of the country; or (c) threaten the sustainable development of the country.”
In an article copied to citifmonline.com, Martin Amidu noted that clause was vague and a clear attempt to limit the powers of the special prosecutor.
“The attempt to distinguish the types of corruption offences that may be investigated and prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor sends the clear message to Ghanaians that the President and his Government now accept certain types of corruption offences as not serious for prosecution, or at least to be prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor,” he said.
“I have no doubt that the insertion of Clause 3(4) that negates the whole Bill before Parliament was done to enable those proponents to harvest their shameless perceived share of the proceeds of corruption that dishonest appointees criminally exploit in public office.”
He called on Akufo-Addo to closely monitor some of his perceived incorruptible appointees whom he said may have been responsible for smuggling the clause into the bill.
“..the consequential amendments in Clause 78 (1) also remove the offence of corruption from the jurisdiction of the Economic and Organised Crime Office when it states that: “The Economic and Organised Crime Office Act, 2010 (Act 804) is amended in section 74 by the deletion the words “corruption and bribery” in paragraph (a) of the definition of serious offence,” Martin Amidu said.
“Who then will investigate the species of corruption the Government has removed from the Special Prosecutor’s functions by the insertion in Clause 3(4) of the Bill before Parliament?” he quizzed.
“The retention of sub-clause 4 of Clause 3 of the Bill makes it unnecessary to enact any Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill into law… Bribery and corruption is bribery and corruption. We cannot justify any form of corruption. The 1992 Constitution did not make any exception when it prohibited corruption and enjoined every citizen to fight corruption. The exceptions in Clause 3(4) of the Bill are consequently unconstitutional. Somebody should have known or realized that those insertions would embarrass the President in the promises he made to Ghanaians to fight corruption and prevented their insertion in the Bill,” Martin Amidu concluded.