Special Prosecutor to draw powers from A-G

Mr. Bentil

Mr. Bentil

The Office of the Special Prosecutor’s (OSP) Draft Bill if passed into law, would have the Special Prosecutor (SP) drawing its powers from the Attorney-General (A-G), Kofi Bentil, Vice President, IMANI Africa, has stated.

He explained that Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution, which was entrenched, had vested all prosecutorial powers in the AG, hence, the need to have the SP drawing its powers from the A-G.

“In order to amend Article 88, it would take a referendum and there was no guarantee that after the expenditure it would succeed,” he said.

Mr Bentil made these revelations in Accra at a media dialogue on the OSP Bill, organised by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition in partnership with the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) – Ghana and the Parliamentary News Africa.

Mr Bentil indicated: “In the current bill under consideration, it is provided within the bill that, in sub-section 4 (6), subject to clause four Article 88, the article that gives powers to the Attorney-General.

“The Office is for the purposes of this act, ‘authorised by the Attorney-General to initiate and conduct the prosecution of corruption and corruption related offences specified in this Act’.”

“This law is saying that the person, who is going to become the Special Prosecutor is authorised by the Attorney-General so to be,” he added.

“In other words, this Act has dealt with it by saying the person draws their powers from the Attorney-General, so that is taken care of.

“The problem however, is not completely dealt with, why because the person who authorises can de-authorise.

So in the previous discussions, one of the problems we had was that if he starts doing something you don’t like, what happens? Will the person simply be de-authorised?” Mr Bentil queried.

He explained that the authority had been given, the solution would be to make sure that the appointment or the authority that was given was irrevocable and sub-section 14 of the bill solves the problem, which says that “once appointed, the person in the office cannot be removed unless that person is found culpable.

“So there are rules by which you can remove that person, once you are appointed or elected into the office, it is presumed that it is the A-G that appointed you and cannot be removed unless you commit the offences in sub-section 14,” Mr Bentil stressed. -GNA

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