General News of Friday, 15 September 2017
Chairperson of Parliament’s Constitutional Committee has argued that the creation of the office of a Special Prosecutor is not a duplication of the role of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
Ben Abdallah said apart from the fact that it is a democratic necessity and the fact that it is a political promise which has to be redeemed, the creation of the office will control ‘powerful people’ from influencing the process of prosecution.
He said it will be difficult for the Attorney General to prosecute people who are members of Cabinet and those who are close to power and so a special prosecutor will take care of those prosecutions as is done in other Western countries.
Speaking on the special edition of Joy FM’s Ghana Connect programme Friday, Ben Abdallah said the rationale is to make corruption prosecutions more independent.
He was contributing to the discussion which also marked the International Democracy Day on the topic: “Is the office of the Special Prosecutor a democratic necessity or a needless duplication.”
There has been a lot of discussion on the creation of the office since the 1992 Constitution only acknowledges the AG’s office as having the power of prosecution.
Critics have said the creation of the office will be unconstitutional because the Attorney General cannot cede her power of prosecution to another agency. Others have also supported the creation of the office through the passage of a Bill in Parliament, something the government is doing at the moment.
Speaking in support of the creation of such an office to deal with corruption and its related matters, Mr Abdallah said it is in tandem with the UN convention against corruption.
“It is a global problem that every country day in and day out across the world is currently dealing with. It is not a situation exclusive to Ghana. I think we are learning from established democracies,” he said citing instances in the Philippines and South Korea.
Contributing to the discussion, Former Lands Minister said once the President Nana Akufo-Addo won the election, it is an indirect endorsement for the creation of the office.
Inusah Fusseini said once Ghanaians voted massively for him, they would expect that he goes ahead to implement that.
He said it is needless to still go ahead and debate about the relevance of creating the office when the discussion has moved on from there.