‘Parliament has power to consider Special Prosecutor Bill’

Mr. Abban

Mr. Abban

The Vice Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Alexander Abban, has described as narrow, suggestions that parliament does not have the power to consider the Special Prosecutor Bill.

His comment follows recent remarks by a senior Law lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Raymond Atuguba, that Parliament, should not entertain the Special Prosecutor Bill because the Constitution has already granted such powers to the Attorney-General (A-G).

But Mr Abban, who is the Member of Parliament for Gomoa West, insisted that such a view is rather simplistic especially when state bodies like the police already prosecute on behalf of the Attorney-General.

“Those who are making those arguments are making very narrow and simplistic view of Article 88 of the constitution which vests prosecutorial powers solely to the Attorney-General.
“Thankfully it also gives the A-G the power to delegate part of its prosecutorial powers to other agencies to do that in its name.
“If we take the simplistic view of those who are making that argument, then it means even the police cannot prosecute,” Mr. Abban stressed.

Dr. Atuguba, at a forum organised by CSD–Ghana, in partnership with the Political Science Department of the University Of Ghana Faculty of Law earlier this month, urged Parliament not to accept the Special Prosecutor Bill again.

He explained that “under the current constitutional dispensation, no prosecutor in Ghana could be legally independent” emphasising that, “again, under our current constitutional dispensation, no prosecutor can be legally settled”.

“Any attempt to pass a law that establishes the Office of a Prosecutor that purports to be special and or independent, does not only do violence to Article 88 of our constitution, but will not pass constitutional master in the Supreme Court,” Dr. Atuguba noted.

But Mr Abban disagreed with that view.

Meanwhile, deliberations on the bill at the second reading stage where the principles and policy intent are debated, is expected to come off this week. –citifmonline.com

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