Opinion: Let’s All Welcome the Independent Special Prosecutor – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Gloria Akuffo, Ghana’s Attourney General

Finally, the bill authorizing the salutary establishment of the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor has been re-laid before Parliament, as earlier on promised by Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo about a couple of months ago (See “Minority Rejects Special Prosecutor” DailyGuideAfrica.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/27/17).  As usual, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been fighting tooth-and-nail, as it were, to have the bill quashed. There can be no gainsaying that no amount of opposition protestation will stop the judicial apparatus of the State from being constructively strengthened in order to tackle the Stygian mess of corruption bequeathed President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by the Mahama-led regime of the National Democratic Congress.

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It is only those who absurdly underestimate the intelligence and resolve of the Ghanaian people to drastically rid their beloved country of the politically regressive blight of corruption who, like Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, the Parliamentary Minority Leader, farcically argue that the establishment of the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor would legally and constitutionally undermine the dispensation of the Attorney-General. No such argument could be more preposterous. Then also, Mr. Iddrisu’s argument that the NDC-crafted and Rawlings-gifted 1992 Constitution is writ in stone, or steel, and thus cannot be amended under any given set of circumstances, whatsoever, reeks of nothing short of the criminally scandalous.

It also fat-headed for the Tamale-South MP to instead call for the “proper resourcing of existing anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), to fight corruption in the country.” Maybe Mr. Iddrisu would do well to inform the Ghanaian public why the Mahama regime, of which he was the Labor Minister, had not adequately resourced both EOCO and CHRAJ to vigorously fight corruption in the country. the fact of the matter is that both the Economic and Organized Crime Office and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice are so paralytically and politically compromised that they are literally as good as nonexistent.

We all know, as well, that it took the election of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to have EOCO force Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, former President Mahama’s “gold-digging” younger brother, to pay up on some 24 bounced checks – some reportorial accounts put the figure at 48 – that the owner of the so-called Engineers & Planners firm had issued for the payment of some mining equipment imported into the country for his private business. Ghanaians also painfully remember Mr. Joseph Whittal, the CHRAJ Chairman’s acrobatic decision to find then-President John Dramani Mahama guilty of active participation in the infamous Ford Expedition Payola Scam, and yet claim that Mr. Mahama was judicially not liable for any disciplinary sanctions or punitive damages.

How does any progressive leader “adequately resource” such virtual white-elephants? It also does not matter one way or another, whether the likes of Mr. Iddrisu are loathe to the idea of the establishment of the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor because of their own corrupt and criminal political past. What matters is the inalienable right of the hardworking Ghanaian taxpayer to “value-for-money,” as Nana Akufo-Addo is fond of saying. We are reliably informed that the country loses at least $ 3 billion to waste in government and official corruption; this must give us all enough cause to sit up and devise the most effective and constructive means of preventing such waste.

Fortunately, as the Parliamentary Majority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, aptly observes, Clause 12 of the Special Independent Prosecutor’s Bill adequately guarantees the balance and neutrality of the administration of the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor. The show, I say, must go on, despite the predictable vehement protestations of those who have more questions to answer before the Special Independent Public Prosecutor than the rest of us.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

The views expressed by this author remain solely their own and are not to be taken as the view of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com and www.zongonews.com