General News of Monday, 31 July 2017
More details are emerging about Ace Anan Ankomah’s involvement in the Special Prosecutor Bill being pushed down the throat of Ghanaians by the Akufo-Addo government, despite grave reservations being expressed by civil society organizations, parliamentarians, political parties and legal experts, including ex-Attorney General, Martin Amidu and Kwame Boafo Akuffo.
The Herald investigations, have established that contrary to the claims by Ace Anan Ankomah that, he had nothing to do with the Special Prosecutor Bill, he had been a resource person and lead advocate for the impending law at public event held at the Accra plush Alisa Hotel, recently.
At the Alisa Hotel, Ace Ankomah, bragged about his access to President Akufo-Addo, and eloquently spoke about the government’s commitment to urgently see the Bill passed into law.
At the event, he is reported to have mentioned his regular interactions with the President on the Bill, contrary to his widely circulated denial full of insults that he never worked on the Bill for the Akufo-Addo government.
The Alisa Hotel event, was held under the auspicious of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Chapter of Transparency International (TI).
In attendance were officials of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and officials of Center for Democratic Development (CDD).
It was to solicit inputs into the bill promised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Nana Akufo-Addo during the 2016 campaign.
The Herald learnt that, there was no representative from the NPP, and Ace Ankomah, acted as though he was representing the NPP parrying most objections to the Bill.
It was also established that, one Lawyer Korieh Duodu, also spoke at the Alisa Hotel event as a resource person in support of the Special Prosecutor Bill, just like Ace Anan Ankomah.
Interestingly, Korieh Duodu, until recently worked at the Bentsi-Enchill Letsa & Ankomah law firm, were Ace Ankomah is a partner.
Mr. Duodu is alleged to have done some jurisdictional research and due diligence on the Special Prosecutor’s Office, hence doing advocacy on the Bill with funding from some International Donors.
Present at the event were legal luminary and ex-Deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Dr. Dominic Ayine, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East Constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Another legal gem, Victor Kojogah Adawudu and Koku Anyidoho, Deputy General-Secretary of the NDC; both represented the opposition party.
It is not clear, whether TI, through the GII funded the workshop and paid the resources persons, including Ace Ankomah and Korieh Duodu, his former colleague at the Bentsi-Enchill Letsa & Ankomah law firm.
But what was clear is that, Ace Ankomah, wants the Law passed irrespective of grave concerns, including claims that Attorney-General powers of nolle prosequi – termination of legal proceedings by the Attorney General – has been moved and vested in the Special Prosecutor.
Officials of CHRAJ, are said to have also expressed fears that the law was going to give lots of powers and autonomy to the Special Prosecutor, leading to the envy of institutions such as the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), CHRAJ as well as judges.
According to CHRAJ, their research into a similar arrangement in a certain African country, the judges had ganged up against as the Special Prosecutor, leading to him constantly losing cases.
The NDC is said to have argued for the amendment of Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution; an entrenched position on the powers of the Attorney-General, which can only be amended through a referendum something the Akufo-Addo government is not ready to do.
Koku Anyidoho, is said to have argued that the creation of Special Prosecutor’s Office, was a political campaign promise the NPP made while in opposition and that the NDC should not have been invited for any discussion on the bill. He, however, supported the suggestion that the Constitution must be amended.
But Ace Ankomah is said to have responded arguing that there is political will on the part of the Akufo-Addo government, therefore, irrespective of constitutional amendment, the Special Prosecutor’s law must be enacted.
Kwame Akuffo, a private legal practitioner, has also put more spokes in the wheel of government’s bid to set up an Office of Special Prosecutor, which is to speed up the corruption fight.
He insists the government or president cannot allocate and distribute powers entrenched in the Constitution to individuals or offices they so choose, not even to the Special Prosecutor.
He argued forcefully the Attorney General’s department derives its powers directly from the Constitution and no one can purport to take that power away and give to another office.
Kwame Akuffo, was speaking on Joy FM/MultiTV’s Newsfile programme on Saturday, on the controversial attempt to create an Office of the Special Prosecutor which was a subject of debate in Parliament, last week.
“A-G is not a lawyer to the president. We must all accept that…She is the legal advisor to the government and owes allegiance to the Constitution,” he said.
Discussing the matter on Newsfile, Kwame Akuffo, said he does not understand why the Office of the Special prosecutor, should have the same privileges as the Attorney-General, adding under the current laws of the country there is no need for a Special Prosecutor. What the country needs is for the Attorney General’s office to be strengthened, he argued.
Citing the example of Martin Amidu and the late president John Mills, the legal practitioner said, Amidu, realized that he was not in office as the lawyer of the president and that he owed his allegiance to the Constitution.
With that knowledge, he said Martin prosecuted the case against Woyome, even when the government machinery and the president were against it. He said the new Attorney General, must take a cue and work as independently as possible without fear or favour.
When that is done there will be no need for a Special Prosecutor, he noted.
Even though he is all for the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, who was also on Newsfile admitted that the arguments by Mr. Akuffo make sense. He encouraged him to send a memorandum to the Attorney General to help in the crafting of the law for the new office.
“We have lost the battle against corruption almost terminally,” he stated, adding the new office may just be the opportunity for a better fight against corruption.
Below is the rejoinder
Dear Larry Dogbe:
Rejoinder – Amidu Destroys Ace Ankomah’s Expensive Special Prosecutor’s Bill
I can see that your “thing” has come again. I honestly thought it was in remission: but I was wrong. Or maybe you have GHS800,000 to spare, you and your lackeys, puppet-masters and financiers.
Ordinarily, I would be flattered if right-thinking members of society credit me (even mistakenly) with drafting this bill. The drafters did a great job, even if I disagree with portions of it and I am writing a piece about that.
But quite unlike right-thinking members of society, you routinely lie about me in what you call a paper. In this instance you have chosen to brace up and compound your belt of lies with the asinine claim of me being paid, and for a job I did not do. You know that I did not draft the bill. You know I have not been paid and cannot be paid because I have done no such job.
Yet for the single reason of your continued hatred, you have spun this lie and published it on your front page. Maybe my name and photo help and boost your sales; well, what are a few extra pesewas to tide a desperate ‘brother’ over a weekend? Glad to oblige. Enjoy it.
But when you are done with your joke of a phony, phantom investigation into how much I was NOT paid and for a job I did NOT do, and when you finally develop a spine and man up to admit your shameful, dastardly and bare-faced lies about me, I hope you will also have the humility, house-training and home-sense to say the truth publicly and with as much prominence as you can muster in what you call a paper. But I am not holding my breath.
Whenever you and your cohort of pathetic, pitiful and pitiable haters tickle me with these things, I am reality-warmed by N. Yiara’s wisdom that “Haters don’t really hate you; they hate themselves because you’re a reflection of what they wish to be.”
Stop hating yourself, Larry. It destroys you, and I don’t want to be blamed for your inglorious self-immolation.
Ace A. Ankomah