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General News of Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

General Mosquito asks Prez Akufo-Addo to sign Special Prosecutor bill

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, says he is at a loss why President Akufo-Addo has not yet signed the Special Prosecutor bill into law.

According to General Mosquito as Asiedu Nketiah is otherwise called, parliament has long completed its work and approved it, needing only President Akufo-Addo’s signature for it to come into force.

Speaking at the 36th anniversary celebration of the 31st December Revolution in Ho on Sunday, Asiedu Nkeiah said given the New Patriotic Party’s jubilation upon the passage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor bill, one would have expected that by now the president would have assented to it.

He said they in the NDC are ready to “dance in the same glass bowl with the NPP and their appointees” in the fight against corruption but demand that the process is transparent.

“The problem mitigating against fighting corruption in this country is that the constitution has entrusted the prosecutorial powers of the country in the hands of the Attorney General who is also a minister of justice under the sitting president. So our fight against corruption has to mean that when you are in power, you are not corrupt, it is only when you go out of power that the new government which now declares itself holy, begins to deal with the past appointees as the corrupt ones.

“That is why the Constitutional Review Committee said that before we can make progress in the fight against corruption, let us take away the prosecutorial powers of the Minister of Justice and create an independent Attorney General who will then prosecute anybody who has been entrusted with any duties under the state. When it happens like that, then as the Attorney General seeks to investigate and prosecute, he will not be looking for any sacred cows”, he said.

Asiedu Nketiah said while as a country we have not been able to amend the constitution, parliament has been able to pass the law that empowers us to create the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

“We thought that by now, (given) the way the NPP were jubilating, we thought that by now that law would have been signed by the president. We thought that by now an independent prosecutor would have been appointed. We thought by now, the Right to Information Bill would have been passed into law so that if you have an independent prosecutor, and then all the information in all the government books are available to all of us ordinary citizens, then it will not be possible for any government to single out past appointees for exacting the demands for probity and accountability. So even as we are dealing with appointees of previous government, the same measures will be taken against the sitting appointees even as they are also stealing,” he said to wild cheers by the milling crowd.