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General News of Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Source: citifmonline

Indemnity clause must stay - Ocquaye

The second deputy speaker of Parliament and NPP MP for Dome Kwabenya, Professor Mike Ocquaye, has once again rejected suggestions for the indemnity clauses in the 1992 constitution to be removed.

The Tuesday’s edition of the Daily Graphic reported that the Constitution Review Commission has recommended the expunging of the clauses that seek to protect all coup makers from prosecution, in its report expected to be presented to President Mills on December 12.

The indemnity clauses of the 1992 Constitution have shielded coup makers in Ghana including ex-President J. J Rawlings from possible prosecution for acts and omissions committed during their reign.

The call for the removal of the indemnity clauses has sparked several debates over the years.

Though the commission is yet to speak to the report, Prof Mike Ocquaye in an interview with Citi News said it will be a wrong move to remove the indemnity clause from the 1992 constitution.

According to him, the clauses must remain, but there must be an amendment to ban the commemoration of any coup so as not to continue raking old wounds.

"You have done a coup, it is wrong, you have asked for indemnity, the good people of Ghana have graciously given it to you, then you say let me celebrate the wrong doing.

"That is the reson why people are calling for it total abolishing but I don't agree because the principle of indemnity is good, it allows a country to put certain things behind it."