Emile Short: We expected too much from Amidu

Justice Short

Justice Short

Former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile Short, has intimated that Ghanaians who feel the Special Prosecutor is taking too long to begin prosecuting corruption issues expected too much too early.

 

“I think that Ghanaians were probably expecting too much because they didn’t take into account what it takes to establish an office from scratch and there were heightened expectations about what we are going to realise.

 

“When the office is established, you have to do proper investigation before you mount prosecution, you don’t want the Office of the Special Prosecutor to initiate prosecution and fail. It will be demoralising,” Justice Short noted.

 

He was contributing to a discussion on the challenges impeding the Office of the Special Prosecutor from prosecuting corrupt public officials.

 

Citizen Vigilante and anti-graft campaigner, Martin Amidu, was appointed last year by the President as the first head of the new anti-corruption agency.

But Justice Short explained that “it is important for Mr Amidu to have investigators in place if he will succeed at prosecuting corruption cases and important for the public to know the process he has to go through to establish a new institution from the scratch.

 

“It is unfortunate that Parliament has taken too long to pass the Legislative Instrument,

the time prescribed for the subsidiary legislation has elapsed and I don’t quite understand why it hasn’t been done,” he bemoaned.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill was put before Parliament in July 2017 and passed in the same year, a move that has been commended by anti-corruption organisations both locally and internationally.

The Office was established to make the Attorney-General’s department independent from Executive influence however, the Office is facing challenges that stifle its ability to begin the prosecution of corruption cases.

 

For instance, the Legislative Instrument for the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act that was to be laid 90 days after the assumption of office of Mr Amidu has not been passed, the Attorney-General’s department has assured it will soon engage Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee on the bill.

 

Mr Amidu, had cause to complain about his challenges at the National Audit Forum, organised by the Audit Service, saying “I want the public to understand we have set up an office,  organise the office, have the requisite personnel which does not take a day. –myjoyonline.com

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