The Special Prosecutor office will be functional within six months, President Nana Addo has revealed.
Addressing the Ghanaian community at an event held at the Central Hall at Westminster in London, the President said : “We made a commitment to establish an office of special prosecutor which will have the mandate to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption….An office that will be independent of the Executive…The office is going to be established by an act of Parliament and it will have the remit to investigate and prosecute corrupt officials.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”WGHj6gIT4R4PGLz0RvX9fL2P1f2f3CcA”]“This meeting of Parliament that has began Godwilling will see the law passed… and within three months, latest six months, the office itself will be up and running and then we can have the capacity to do what we want to do,” the President said.
The President explained that the setting up of the office has become necessary since the state had lost so much money through corruption by both public and private individuals.
“This is important because of the project we have put before the people of Ghana. We want to put Ghana in a situation beyond aid.We want to be able to mobilize resources to handle the problems of development,” the President added.
Confusion over Special Prosecutor’s office
The setting up of the office of the Special Prosecutor was one of the key campaign promises made by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo which he explained was necessary in tackling corruption related issues in the country.
There have however been varied opinions about the creation of the office.
Whereas some believe it is in the right direction, the Minority Members of Parliament had threatened to go to court over the matter.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, in an earlier Citi News interview insisted that, the Special Prosecutor’s office could not be established without tinkering with Article 88 of the constitution, which deals with the role of the Attorney-General.
“…That is my understanding of the law. It belongs to the executive chapter of the constitution which is entrenched; therefore you cannot be seeking to review that through an Act of Parliament… I am certain that article 88 is entrenched, and not that which can be reviewed simply through a process of an Act of Parliament,” he explained.
Funding for special prosecutor in limbo – MP
Though the President has indicated that the office will be operational within the stipulated time, he failed to mention how government intends funding its operations.
The Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, Ben Abdallah had earlier stated that he did not know where the funding for the office will come from although he maintained that the office “is one of the priorities of government.”
“…Government has given a deadline around next year 2018, so let’s wait and see if the promise is not realized taking into consideration the deadline, then we will be right in taking government to task. Because as I’m talking, we don’t even know where the money will be coming from, whether it will be provided outside this budget estimates, but by the government or it’s going to come from somewhere else, we can’t tell,” he said.
“But let’s not be judgmental at this time of the day by saying that there would be a conflict of interest with respect to where government is to get funding from be it from a particular entity or individual. Probably the money will be provided for by the government itself,” he added.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana