General News of Friday, 28 July 2017
The Minority in Parliament says it deserves some commendation for demanding the withdrawal of the Office of Special Prosecutor’s bill expected to fight corruption.
The opposition lawmakers said though they support the bill in principle, they will not stop to ensure that the government complies with the Constitution and Standing Orders of Parliament in its bit to get it passed.
Deputy Minority Spokesperson on Legal Affairs, Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine said the government circumvented the procedures of the House when it laid the bill.
He told Raymond Acquah on Upfront on Joy News channel on MultiTV Thursday, the bill did not meet the requirement for admission under a certificate of urgency as was done.
The former Deputy Attorney-General said the bill could have been passed in less than a day under Standing Orders 119, if it had been admitted under a certificate of urgency.
But the bill did not meet the criteria, he said.
The Majority Leader withdrew the bill Thursday after it came under strong opposition from the Minority.
By procedure, a bill that comes to Parliament is required to be gazetted at least 14 days before it will be laid before Parliament. It is only when a bill comes under a certificate of urgency that the 14-day period is not followed
According to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee the Office of Special Prosecutor’s bill did not qualify to be passed under a certificate of urgency and must follow the due process.
Section of Ghanaians blamed the fate of the bill on the NDC MPs, saying they are opposed to it because they are afraid to be prosecuted when the Bill is passed into law.
But Dr Ayine said the Minority supports the prosecution of any former government official found to have fallen foul of the law.
“If we did anything that was welfare reducing, we are prepared to face the law,” he said.
He said they are ready to support government if it has evidence against former officials that can stand up to scrutiny in a court of law.
“We want the perception of rampant corruption used during the campaign [in 2016] to now turn into reality,” he said.
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