Gov’t withdraws Special Prosecutor Bill from Parliament

The government has withdrawn the controversial Special Prosecutor Bill from Parliament.

This comes after the Minority in Parliament challenged the procedure in which the Bill was laid, claiming it was unconstitutional.

The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, who withdrew the Bill, also withdrew the Zongo Development Fund Bill without explaining the motive behind his action.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu argued that the Bill did not fulfill the mandatory 14-day constitutional process for its introduction in Parliament.

He further stated that the since the Bill was gazetted on 14th July, it should have been laid on or after 28th July and not the original date on which it was laid.

But the Majority insisted that the Bill was not a regular one but was laid under the certificate of urgency.

The Special Prosecutor Bill is to enable the government to create a special prosecutor’s office that will deal with various corruption issues in government.

It was one of the major proposals made by President Akufo-Addo as part of his plans to deal with corruption in government.

Meanwhile, a former Attorney General Martin Amidu has raised questions over certain aspects of the Bill.

According to him, Clause 3 (3) and (4) of the Bill which was not in the original draft designed by stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations, limits the powers of the special prosecutor.

In an article copied to citifmonline.com he said, the inclusion of the clause “negates the whole promise that the President made during his campaign and after his assumption of office to fight corruption.”

The clauses indicates that “…specified under paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (1) unless the commission of the offence is in respect of a vast quantity of assets that (a) constitute a substantial proportion of the resources of the country; (b) threaten the political stability of the country; or (c) threaten the sustainable development of the country.”

 


By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana