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Opinions of Saturday, 11 March 2017

Columnist: Ananpansah, Isaac

Ghana first in the implementation of the office of the special prosecutor

By: Ananpansah, Isaac

"Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere", and let me say that, injustice by political office holders is a serious threat to justice everywhere in our national life. The world in itself demand justice in the protection of government purse. This has occasioned the idea for the establishment of the office of special prosecutor to crack down wrongdoing in the public space and hence, reduce corruption to the lowest bearing.

Even though, governments around the world have expressed strong concerns on the daylight looting and siphoning of state resources to the detriment of the ordinary citizen who goes through hustle and bustle to make ends meet. In the wake of this troubling situation, Countries such us France, Great Britain, Australia, Scotland* among others have successfully established an office of special prosecutor to deal with scandalous and issues of embezzlement of funds among public officials.

In Africa , a major cause of poverty and inequality is corruption. Indeed, reports from the world bank suggests that, more than a half of of the funds received in aid to Africa finds its way back to the west through the corrupt activities of political leaders, government officials mismanage and misappropriate funds in the full glare of the public. This has prompted calls for the establishment of workable institutions and mechanism to clamp down on these political and social evils within the public domain.

In the Ghanaian setting, our story is not different, corruption and mismanagement of public funds persist. This obviously has the potential of further widening the inequality gap and ultimately plaguing the country's economy into backwardness. In the light of this, the current government has been compelled to make an unequivocal pledge to establish the office of special prosecutor to investigate into some of this alleged awkward public practices.

Though, this initiative has been welcomed with mix feeling within the political divide and the general public us a whole. As The largest opposition party, the NDC have in particular, perceived this as a political witch hunt by the incumbent government, it would be compromised based on the appointments of it's personel. Some also argue that it is duplication of institutions; establishing another white elephant which would be a drain on the state treasury. They have  also questioned the independence of the independent special prosecutor since like the Attorney General, he is going to be appointed by the incumbent government.

Though the first gentleman of the land has allayed the fears of critiques and the general public with regards the above,we can only wait to see how things turnout in the execution of this manifesto pledge. Thus,whether we are going to see an astronomical drift from the normal political gimmicks to politics of integrity, where the words of the the first gentleman of the land wouldn't be compromised because of political inclination.

According to his 2016 Manifesto pledge, An act of Parliament shall establish the office of special prosecutor and it shall work separately from the executive and as his famous adage goes "Ghana would work again. "More so,Ghana has been touted as being a beacon of hope in Democratic practices in the entire continent. Hence, It's high time we mature as a people in practicing modern Democratic values.

In effect,it would therefore be a huge indictment on our hard fought reputation if we execute this particular lofty initiative according to one's party whims and Caprices instead of the supreme interest of the state.

Notwithstanding the many expressed divergent views on the establishment of the office of special prosecutor, it's worth noting that, *if this office is well resourced,and properly constituted devoid of any political colouration and allowed to work independently without any political influence,it would surely go a long way to unravel some of the mischievous and mysterious vanishing of state funds and other dubious acts by political officeholders and politicians as a whole.

Happy Diamond Anniversary countrymen....
And may God bless our homeland Ghana....

By: Ananpansah, Isaac
University Of Ghana,Legon.