A legislative instrument that will give impetus to the Office of the Special Prosecutor has been laid before parliament at a time the country’s newest anti-graft body is struggling to make inroads in the fight against corruption.
The LI, laid before the House by the Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul on behalf of the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, will take 21 continuous parliamentary sitting days to automatically mature into law.
The document among other key things, spells out how appointment of prosecutors will be done, how someone can file a complaint for an issue to be investigated, and generally how the Special Prosecutor will work.
It also spells out the processes that the Office will have to go through to seize assets of persons suspected to have been involved in corrupt practices, TV3’s parliamentary correspondent Evelyn Tengmaa reported.
The Speaker has since referred the LI to the Parliamentary Committee on Subsidiary Legislation for deliberations and submit a report to the House.
On January 2, 2018, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assented to the enactment of the Office of Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959).
Pursuant to that, the Attorney General in compliance with the provision of Section 13 Clause 3 of the Act, on January 11, 2018, exercised her power of nomination and submitted to President Akufo-Addo for his acceptance, Martin Amidu, as the proposed Special Prosecutor.
Nana Akufo-Addo accepted the nomination of Mr Amidu as Special Prosecutor and, in turn, submitted it to Parliament for parliamentary approval which was given on January 20, 2018.
Mr. Amidu was subsequently sworn into office but the Office of the Special Prosecutor has since been struggling to effectively and efficiently prosecute its mandate.
The Special Prosecutor who attained a year in office two weeks ago claimed the Office has been neglected by the government as funds and the needed resources have not been made available.
Presenting the 2019 budget statement to Parliament on November 15, 2018, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta announced 180 million cedis for the Office in 2019.