Special Prosecutor bill opened for suggestions – Minister

Gloria Akufo

Madam Gloria Akuffo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, says the Special Prosecutor Bill would implore the contributions and recommendations of stakeholders to shape the legislation before it is presented to Parliament.

She said the office was a new addition to the institutional architecture for fighting corruption, which would be devoid of political affiliations.

She said this at a closing ceremony of a two-day workshop organised by her Ministry in Accra to solicit for ideas on the Bill. 

The event workshop brought together lawyers, legal luminaries and drafters of legislation and discussed topics such as Assets Confiscation, Getting Value for Money, Overview of the Draft Bill of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and Complaints, Proceeds of Corruption and Corruption Related Offences.’

The Bill is a step towards the fulfilment of the New Patriotic Party’s campaign promise to establish an Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and is expected to with a legal backbone, full authority, and control over litigation, prosecution and conduct of proceedings involving cases of corruption implicating political office holders and high-ranking government officials. 

The OSP would have the mandate to investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption under the Public Procurement Act 2003 Act 663 and other corruption related offences implicating public officers, political office holders, and their accomplices in the public sector as well as trace and recover the proceeds of corruption.

She commended the stakeholders for their insightful contribution on the bill.

Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, a Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the goal was to create an office that gains the confidence of the Ghanaian as a credible, independent anti-corruption body and also institutional.

He said: “The real challenge had always been the power of the Attorney General who has complete control of prosecution in the country, which has been a challenge. 

“The challenge is to ensure that the office is given enough institutional cover, professionalism, and resources that will boost performance,” he said.

Participants suggested that a website should be created to inform the public and in order not to make the work of the Special Persecutor cumbersome there must be a secretariat which would work under the OSP to recover assets, do administrative work and also initiate investigations.

Source: GNA

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