A Ranking Member on Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, Inusah Fuseini has chastised the Akufo-Addo led administration and other successive governments for using the law on causing financial loss to the state as a weapon to prosecute political opponents.
According to Mr Fuseini, this has led to the refusal of lawmakers to amend or expunge the law, which is in bad faith.
Speaking on the AM Show on JoyNews Wednesday, the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central constituency who is also a lawyer expressed worry that the law on causing financial loss to the state is still being used in its current disposition.
“I am still not in doubt that that law is a bad law but because it’s been weaponised, it is difficult for any political party to bring an amendment or a bill to have it repelled.
“Political parties and governments have used it against their political opponents,” he told host Roland Walker.
But another legal practitioner, Bernard Owiredu Donkor had a different opinion on the subject.
Mr Donkor believes the current law is in the best interest of the country.
He insists maintaining it will help to deter state officials from falling foul to it.
“To say that it (law on causing financial loss to the state) is being weaponised is quite extreme which I don’t share. If you haven’t caused financial loss to the state, there’s no way you would be caught in that web.
“So we should maintain such laws to at least deter people who are state actors. So they know that at the end of the day we have this law so whatever act, whatever situation I engage in while performing my duty to the state I there is some aspect of this law waiting for me.”
Mr. Donkor was, however, quick to express reservations about the “broad nature of the law”.
According to him, this allowed judges and prosecutors a lot of room to operate.
On Tuesday, May 12, the Accra High Court sentenced three former government officials to various terms in prison after convicting them of willfully causing financial loss of $4million to the state.
A former board chairman of the National Communication Authority (NCA) Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie will serve six years in prison for his role in the $4m NCA scandal.
William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, a former Director-General of the NCA and Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator were each sentenced to five years imprisonment for also causing financial loss to the state in the scandal.
The court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, also ordered the State to seize assets of the convicts to the tune of $3 million since the state has only recovered $1 million of the amount.
Reacting to the judgment, Inusah Fuseini also urged public officials to act with tact and principle when undertaking transactions on behalf of the state.
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