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Special Prosecutor will be insulated from political manipulation – Ben Abdallah

The Chairman of Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee says the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) will be designed to prevent it from being politically manipulated.

Ben Abdallah Bandah said the OSP bill, when passed into law, will make it difficult for the Special Prosecutor to be removed easily at the whims of the executive.

He told Evans Mensah on the Joy FM’s Ghana Connect Friday, the Prosecutor may be removed from office through the same process prescribed for the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and Supreme Court judges.

Chairman of Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, Ben Abdallah Bandah

Article 146 section (3) of the 1992 Constitution states the removal of a Justice of a Superior Court other than the Chief Justice will be triggered by a petition first submitted to the President.

The President is enjoined to forward the petition to the Chief Justice tasked to determine whether there is a prima facie case for further investigation.

A five-member committee will then be set up to probe the complaints if a prima facie case is established, section (4) of the Article has said.

Mr Bandah said anyone who wishes to remove the Special Prosecutor will have to go through the same process.

He believes this will insulate the Prosecutor from being influenced either by the executive or opposition political parties.

The creation of the OSP was a major campaign promise in the 2016 elections.

Then presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised to fight corruption through the independent prosecutor.

The process towards the fulfilment of the promise suffered a setback after the government was compelled to withdraw the OSP Bill over some technicalities.

The Bill was not properly laid before the House to be considered, the Legal Affairs Committee said.

But the process has started and the Committee had its first stakeholders’ forum on Wednesday and Thursday in Accra to consider the Bill.

Ranking Member of Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, Inusah Fuseini wants Parliament to sanction the removal process of the Special Prosecutor.

“We are trying to make it possible that the petition will be forwarded to Parliament to determine [the way forward],” he said.