PPP: Appointment Of Special Prosecutor Is ‘Antithesis’ To Corruption Fight If…

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has appreciated the setting up of the Special Prosecutor but believes it won’t fight corruption entirely.

The PPP in a statement said “the attempt by President Akufo-Addo’s government to make the appointment of the Special Prosecutor a panacea that will restrain corruption in Ghana is nothing but an antithesis to the fight against corruption in the country.”

According to the party, the “creation of the Special Prosecutors Office by this new NPP will not curb corruption as it is fraught with the same reasons why an Attorney-General fails – government interference and lack of political will to prosecute a government official.”

Among many reasons they raised, the PPP said the office contravenes ” Article 88 (3) & (4) of our 1992 Constitution” that states that “all prosecutions or commencement of prosecutions are the responsibility of the Attorney General.”

Martin Amidu, a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and an anti corruption campaigner was appointed on Thursday by President Nana Akufo-Addo to be the Special Prosecutor.

Read The Full Statement Below.

For Immediate Release
11th January 2018

MAKE ATTORNEY GENERAL THE INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR

The Progressive People’s Party is pleased that the setting up of the Special Prosecutor is a step in the right direction.

However, the attempt by President Akufo-Addo’s government to make the appointment of the Special Prosecutor a panacea that will restrain corruption in Ghana is nothing but an antithesis to the fight against corruption in the country.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), prior to the 2000 General Elections, held a strong view that the Ministry of Justice should be separated from the Attorney General to make the Attorney General truly independent of the Executive. What has changed?

This creation of the Special Prosecutors Office by this new NPP will not curb corruption as it is fraught with the same reasons why an Attorney-General fails – government interference and lack of political will to prosecute a government official.

Article 88 (3) & (4) of our 1992 Constitution states that all prosecutions or commencement of prosecutions are the responsibility of the Attorney General.

Therefore any attempt to introduce another law to violate the existing fundamental law of the land amounts to nothing but a smokescreen geared towards fulfilling a manifesto promise.

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) demands therefore the immediate initiation of the process to revise the 1992 Constitution to separate the Attorney General’s Department from the Ministry of Justice and establish a Chief State Prosecutor’s Office (The Attorney).

The Chief State Prosecutor (CSP) could be established as follows:
1. Chief State Prosecutor shall be the Attorney General of the Republic. The CSP shall be nominated by the Ghana Bar Association on the advice of the Judicial Council and approved by Parliament.
2. CSP shall be responsible for the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of all criminal offences in the Republic.
3. No one shall institute any prosecutions in the name of the Republic without the authority of the CSP.
4. The CSP shall discharge such other duties of a legal nature as may be referred or assigned to him by Parliament, Supreme Court, or imposed on him by the Constitution or any other law.
5. CSP shall hold office for 10 years upon parliamentary approval of his nomination unless he resigns, removed or dies.
6. CSP before taking office shall subscribe to an oath of allegiance and secrecy of his office administered by the Speaker of Parliament and before all members of Parliament who by law must all be in attendance as by law shall prescribe.
7. CSP in doing his work is entitled to request and receive information from every state official subject only to the existing laws on self-incrimination.
8. A state official who fails and or refuses to provide information requested for by CSP commits high crime and upon conviction shall be liable within the terms of article 2 (5) (a & b) of the Constitution.
9. The only body that could remove CSP from office is the Supreme Court of Ghana upon stated grounds of legal and ethical nature through Petition sent to CHRAJ.
10. Upon CHRAJ finding a prima facie case against the CSP, it shall send its report or decision to the Supreme Court and the public in general.

The lasting solution is to make the office of the Attorney General independent of the government and the Presidency by amending article 88 (3) & (4) of our Constitution to estop the President from appointing the Attorney General.

Consequently, the PPP will not relent in pursuing the goal to make the Attorney General independent of the government and shall in due course, announce a series of actions to press home our demand for a totally independent
Attorney General.

Signed,
Murtala Mohammed Ahmed
National Secretary