Is the Office of the Special Prosecutor ready? (2)

Another issue that is agitating the minds of  many Ghanaians and which has already generated debate among many is the age factor.

Article 190 of the Constitution creates the public services of Ghana.  Article 190(1)(d) provides for the creation of such public services as Parliament may by law prescribe.

As things stand now, Mr Amidu has been nominated and accepted by the President to be presented to Parliament for vetting and confirmation and shall thereafter assume office as the Special Prosecutor.

We are informed that Martin Amidu is about 65 – 66 years old. Under chapter 14 of the Constitution,  public servants shall retire from the public service at 60 years and in exceptional circumstances be engaged for a limited period of not more than two (2) years at a time but not exceeding five (5) years in all. In other words Under the Constitution,  a person should not serve in the public services upon attaining the age of 65 years.

Section 12(4) of the office of the Special Prosecutor provides that the Special Prosecutor shall hold office on the same terms and conditions of service as a Justice of Appeal except that his tenure of office shall be a non renewable tenure of seven years.

Following from the nomination of Mr Martin Amidu, section 12(4) of the office of Special Prosecutor law raises a number of issues.

  1. Whether or not the retiring age of the Special Prosecutor is equivalent to that of a Justice of Appeal which is 70 years.
  2. Whether or not an appointing authority can appoint a person to act in an office where the tenure of the person so appointed shall exceed or is likely to exceed the compulsory retiring age of the office he occupies.
  3. Whether or not the office of the Special Prosecutor is created pursuant to Article 190(1)(d) of the1992 Constitution,

The Ghanaian Times is convinced that these issues may contribute in enriching the ongoing debate as to the suitability or otherwise of Martin Amidu as the first special prosecutor of Ghana.

A weekend of lawlessness

We view last weekend as a lawless one. We mirrored the society on the front page of yesterday’s issue. It has to do with the vituperation of the US President Donald Trump’s “shithole remark” about Africa, Haiti and El Salvador, as well as the wanton killings and destruction of properties across the country.

We are sovereign, independent countries and members of the United Nations, bond by universality of humankind. Our existence as members of the UN, and for that matter international relations is based on the principles of mutual respect and cooperation.

It is in light of this that we view the remark by President Trump as unfortunate and the worst diplomatic anomaly. The incident could have been avoided. Leadership requires a high degree of restrain and diplomacy.

We are appalled by the reported killings, vandalisation and assaults experienced in some parts of the country. These are despicable, uncouth, barbaric and unacceptable in a country that is considered a friendly and God fearing society, attracting the attention of the international investor community.

Sergeant George Boakye, was gunned down as he parked his car close to the Accra Abattoir to attend to nature’s call. He was shot by assailants and later died in the hospital by assailants. His car was found crashed by the assailants.

Then again, a 40–year- old toll collector David Assumeh was killed in a shooting spree at the PW Quarry Site at Doryumu   in the Shai Osu  Doku area of the Greater Accra Region.

Angry residents of the area attacked police personnel stationed there and vandalised the station. What an irony of fate to attack police, who are stationed to protect the citizens.

They were reported to have attacked and vandalised the police station, on the flimsy excuse that the police failed to act swiftly on the reported shooting incident.  Can we imagine the reprisal from the police?

Modern policing is based on scientific approach to crime investigations, which normally takes time to conduct. Society must understand this and stop this wanton attacks on police stations and their personnel.

Further, Dissah, a farming community in the North Gonja District of the North Gonja District of  the Northern Region was set ablaze in an arson , by a group of gunmen, in what is suspected to be linked to protracted land feud. Lives were lost and livelihoods gone up in flames.

Again, the New Patriotic Party Brong-Ahafo Regional Youth organiser, Kwame Baffoe, alias, Abronye DC was mercilessly beaten up by members of his party over party matters at Atebubu. He has suffered a fracture and wounds and he is receiving treatment. Enough of these violent behaviours!

These killings and maiming at the weekend and previous ones show that our security is still fragile. We, therefore, urge the security apparatus including the National Peace Council to reactivate their early warning system to nip in the bud these security threats.

We also urge the government, to take urgent steps to close the police /population ratio which stands as one police to population of 848, far lower than the international standard practice of one police man to population of 500.

This, we believe will make available more human resource for expanded community policing and the police visibility strategies.

We sympathise with the bereaved families and wish the injured speedy recovery!

 

 

 

 

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