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Special prosecutor bill at Consideration stage – Nii Lantey Vanderpuye

Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo constituency, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has communicated that the Special Prosecutor Bill has reached the consideration stage.

At this stage, Members of Parliament are expected to debate and propose amendments to the bill as well do a clause by clause scrutiny before it goes to the final stage for approval. 

The bill is one of the flagship campaign promises of president Akufo-Addo and when passed into law, is expected to establish an office of a special prosecutor to help in the fight against corruption.  

Speaking on JOYNEWS’ AM SHOW on Thursday, Mr. Vanderpuye stated that the bill has reached the consideration stage and the cumbersome and systematic nature of that stage kept the legislators in parliament late on Wednesday evening.

“We have to do a clause by clause consideration and it is a very difficult process”, he said.

Sometimes MPs have to consider the items word by word and make sure that no word in there has any other legal implications that anyone can take advantage of. "And also we have to make sure we draft a document that will stand the test of time," he added.

Mr. Vanderpuye noted that a particular clause which states that the special prosecutor must be a Ghanaian kept the House debating for about an hour because the House seemed divided as to the implication of the clause.

There were concerns as to whether the clause means a Ghanaian by birth, descent, or by registration or whether a dual citizen who has allegiance to another state can hold the all-important position, he noted.

The opposition MP said there was consensus about the necessity of the office of special prosecutor because it is an important tool in the fight against corruption.

The office of the Special Prosecutor which is expected to prosecute corruption cases was a campaign promise by the then-candidate Nana Akufo-Addo and has since then raised concerns from politicians on the other side and from some civil society groups.

Some of them believe it is a ploy to perpetuate witch-hunting. Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu believes there is no independence for the office as promised.

But the latest development seems to have settled the concerns as parliamentarians have been said to reach consensus in the consideration of the bill which will move to the third reading and then will be passed by a simple majority.