General News of Tuesday, 5 September 2017
The Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) has said that the ‘Independent Prosecutor’ position the party proposed prior to the 2016 polls is in no way similar to the ‘Special’ Prosecutor position being proposed by the ruling New Patriotic Party.
The PPP called for the urgent establishment of an Independent Public Prosecutor to handle infractions of the law independent of a ruling party before the 2016 elections.
Citing comments made by an NPP MP for Nhyiaseso, Kennedy Kwasi Kankam on Peace FM on 4th September 2017, suggesting that the PPP’s policy position on setting up an Independent Prosecutor is the same as the NPP’s proposal to set up the Special Prosecutor’s office, the party (PPP) stated that though the policy is a step in the right direction, may not necessarily produce the desired effects since the Special Prosecutor may still be operating under the instructions of the Attorney General.
A statement released by the party indicated that the PPP is solely advocating the establishment of an office that is detached and separate from the Attorney General’s office and independent of the Minister of Justice’ supervision.
Below is the statement:
REJOINDER TO DECEPTION ON PPP POLICY POSITION RE SEPARATING ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT FROM MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
Our attention has been drawn to comments made by the NPP MP for Nhyiaeso in the Ashanti Region, Hon Kennedy Kwasi Kankam on Peace Fm on 4th September 2017 that the PPPs policy position on setting up an Independent Prosecutor is the same as the NPPs proposal to set up the Special Prosecutor’s office.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
We wish to place on record that what the PPP promised and what the NPP is planning are not analogous in any way.
Many Ghanaians are aware that the PPP has linked its existence to leading a crusade for the implementation of critical reforms such as election of MMDCEs, free but compulsory education from KG to SHS, separation of the Attorney General from the Minister of Justice, and separation of the Executive from the Judiciary etc.
We are happy about the vivid and concrete expressions by the NPP to implement aspects of PPP’s own policy visions. We acknowledge that it is a good start.
However, we are not sure how the proposed Special Prosecutor will be working under instructions of the Attorney General and remain independent.
Our proposal is for a detached and separate Office of the Independent Prosecutor.
We believe that the AG who performs the role of Chief Legal Adviser to the government, Minister of State, and guardian of the public interest, is undoubtedly a constitutional oddity.
Our desire is to have a complete separation so that the Minister of Justice becomes the President’s lawyer while the Attorney General’s office becomes the people’s lawyer.
An independent prosecutor is what we need to effectively deal with corruption; and definitely not a special prosecutor who will be working as an appendage under instructions of an Attorney General.
For anyone seriously interested in tackling corruption, the intent and application of the above argument should be straightforward enough!
Paa Kow Ackon