Special Prosecutor's Bill finally passed

Special Prosecutor's Bill finally passed
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah
Date: 14-11-2017 Time: 07:11:55:pm

Parliament has finally passed the Special Prosecutor's Bill in a marathon sitting Tuesday.

The Bill was passed amidst controversy over whether the prospective Special Prosecutor should be immuned from prosecution.

The government was racing against time to have the bill passed ahead of the reading of the 2018 Budget statement which has been scheduled for tomorrow.

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Without the passage of the Bill it would have been impossible for the government to allocate funds for an office which is not recognized by law.

With the passage of the bill out of the way, government is now free to appoint an independent prosecutor and more importantly allocate resources for the office.

The passage of the bill was not without any controversy.

Over 30 ammendments were made Tuesday, to the Bill that will give power to a new independent prosecutor who will be tasked with the responsibility of prosecuting past and present public officers deemed to have been corrupt.

Chief among the controversial amendments is the decision to free the independent prosecutor from any form of prosecution.

The Minority in Parliament challenged the presence of that clause insisting it will be a violation of the country’s law.

Rockson Dafeamekpor who represents the South Dayi constituency in the Volta Region and is also a member of the Constitutional and Legal Committee of Parliament reckoned the clause could create a monster out of the prosecutor.

Rockson Dafeamekpor

He told Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo that clause will give too much power to the independent prosecutor to do things the way he or she likes.

He said the country’s jurisprudence makes provision for persons who suffer any form of “malicious prosecution” to seek redress by way of civil action against the prosecutor.

With the immunity clause in place, any such attempt to seek redress will be futile, he explained.

But the Majority Leader insisted the independent prosecutor needed to be clothed with the power he or she needs to go about the constitutional duty.

After a lot of back and forth, the clause was allowed to stay and the bill was passed around 7:30 pm. 

Corruption fight

The government has been accused of failing to fight corruption with several allegations of wrongdoing especially against previous government appointees.

But the president has been waiting to appoint a special prosecutior whom he believes could go about the business of prosecution without any partisan interest.

With the legal framework in Parliament over and done with, it remains to be seen who gets appointed to the office who gets prosecuted for corruption offences.

 

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