The Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee of Parliament, Ben Abdallah has assured Ghanaians that the Bill setting up the Office of Special Prosecutor will be ready by October 4 when Parliament resumes sitting.
He said although there is a general expectation that the committee speeds up its work on the bill, it is minded to work diligently in the interest of the state.“The committee will finalize its work on the Office of Special Prosecutor Bill before Parliament resumes on 3rd October or 4th. Yes, everything has to be hurried but diligence work will have to be done and the committee will meet the deadline.”
“The committee has made a timetable and the committee will do the stakeholder consultation before Parliament resumes,” he said on Eyewitness News on Wednesday.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor is to enable the government deal with issues of corruption, especially among state officials.
Under the Bill, an independent prosecutor will head the office and prosecute corruption offenses by state officers.
It was one of the major promises made by President Akufo-Addo as part of his plans to deal with corruption in government.
The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee of Parliament says one of its major tasks is to receive inputs to the Bill from the general public before presenting the draft to the plenary.
But before it completes its work, former Attorney General, Martin Amidu has been one of the few vociferous who has criticized parts of the Bill, suggesting that it defeats the essence of the creation of the office.
Martin Amidu, in what he described as a critique of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Billquestioned why there’s a clause that seeks to limit the Special Prosecutor to specific crimes.
Martin Amidu noted that the success of the office would be largely dependent on the integrity of the President to ensure the office works without any interference and gets the necessary resources to deliver on its mandate without fear or favour.
But reacting to the issues raised by Martin Amidu, Ben Abdallah said although the powers of the Special Prosecutor must not be limited, he believes that the Office of the Special Prosecutor must not be compelled to chase every act of corruption but be guided by the quantum of the acts of corruption.
“Every corruption is corruption, but if we don’t circumscribe the jurisdiction of the office of the Special Prosecutor with the respect to kinds of corruption that the Special Prosecutor can deal with, we may have a situation where the special Prosecutor is compelled to deal with any kind of corruption at all no matter the quantum of the money allegedly embezzled, ” Ben Abdallah said.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana