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General News of Saturday, 6 January 2018

Source: classfmonline.com

'Puppet' Special Prosecutor cannot be independent - Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that there is no way the Special Prosecutor appointed by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) will be independent as the Office of the Special Prosecutor is only an appendage of the Attorney General’s Office.

“With this current Bill the Attorney General can always interfere because the Special Prosecutor is not independent. If the Special Prosecutor picks a case to take you to court the Attorney General can tell him to stop the process,” Mr Mahama stated.

Addressing party supporters at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo region during the 5th Unity Walk organised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday, January 6, Mr Mahama said the “Special Prosecutor is like any ordinary State Attorney”.

He underscored that the Bill indicates that “the Office of the Special Prosecutor is still under the department of the Attorney General”.

Mr Mahama explained that the problem with the Attorney General is that the person is also the Minister for Justice and sits in cabinet with the President so if there is any allegation of corruption against the government she will not be able to prosecute the person hence the decision by the government to introduce a Special Prosecutor.

However, he was of the view that Attorney General will still play a supervisory role over the Special Prosecutor and this will erode the independence of the Special Prosecutor.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently signed the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act.

The bill was passed by Parliament last year as part of the government's efforts to deal with corruption in the Public sector.

Addressing a brief ceremony at the seat of government, the Flagstaff House on Tuesday January 2, Mr Akufo- Addo observed that even though the Special Prosecutor Bill was a subject of controversy, he is hopeful that its full implementation would help root out corruption in the public sector. He added that both past and present public office holders will be subjected to the scrutiny of the Special Prosecutor law.