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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Columnist: William Boadi

Why keep a Special Prosecutor when equally competent bodies already exist?

Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu (R) and President Nana Akufo-Addo Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu (R) and President Nana Akufo-Addo

“ citizens, not spectators...” These are the words of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and as concerned citizens with Ghana and ultimately Africa at heart, Educate Africa Institute (EAI) is asking, “Does Ghana need the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP)?”

It is an open secret that the president of Ghana has surrounded himself with an extremely large number of ministers and created many offices that are weighing heavily on the coffers of taxpayers.

Based on the constitution, there are enough state agencies that can help fight corruption effectively and all the country needs is to resource and demand results from them.

Agencies like the Attorney General’s Department, Office of the Auditor-General, Economic and Organised Crime Office(EOCO), the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and all other law enforcement agencies already existent can navigate this country against the storms of corruption and still get us safe sailing.

Take, for instance, the Attorney General’s Department. This department has three sections; the Civil Section, the Prosecutions Section and the Legislative Drafting Section.

Clearly, by empowering this department, all prosecutions on behalf of the state can be carried out with ease by the head which is the Attorney General.

As concerned citizens, we (EAI) ask, “Why duplicate functions at the expense of the taxpayers while one agency can handle the task?”

In light of this truth, we humbly call on the president to close down the office of the Special Prosecutor and demand from the Attorney General Department and other agencies to do their work by prosecuting all persons found short of the law.

Ghana is some days away from the general elections and we plead with the president not to hastily consider choosing anyone to replace the ex-prosecutor just to feel the vacancy.

This is because millions of Ghana cedis which could have been used for development projects has been pumped into that office as budgetary allocation without any single result to show.

Close the office down permanently in the interest of the country. We are aware you have chosen another person but it is not too late to terminate her appointment.

We are also calling on parliament to as a matter of urgency, initiate the right processes that would see to the suspension of the article that establishes the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

We are citizens of Ghana. Africa is born in us.

William Boadi is the CEO of Educate Africa Institute (EAI), Educationist and a Motivational Speaker.