General News of Tue, 13 Nov 20183
‘It’s long overdue’: MP accuses government of feet-dragging over anti-graft law
As government fails to meet its own deadline to present a Legislative Instrument (L.I.) for the Office of Special Prosecutor to Parliament, an MP is taking on the President for lack of action in the fight against corruption.
Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, Bernard Ahiafor, has said government’s failure to ensure the L.I. is passed one year after the appointment of the Special Prosecutor, is a clear demonstration of a lack of commitment to fighting corruption.
“I have not seen or sighted a copy of that particular L.I. let alone to talk about a committee meeting where a pre-laying has been carried out. It is one thing making promises with sugar-coated words – appearing to be fighting corruption – and it is another thing fighting corruption. In reality, we are not seeing much of it,” he told Joy News.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor is a creation of the New Patriotic Party government to prosecute individuals implicated in corrupt practices and to prosecute these offences on the authority of the Attorney-General.
It is a specialised agency that President Akufo-Addo wants to be tasked with the investigation of specific cases of corruption involving public officers and politically-exposed persons.
However, nine months after the swearing in of the Special Prosecutor, the agency has no legislative backing.
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has complained about the delay in passing the L.I.
At the National Audit Forum organised by the Ghana Audit Service, Mr Amidu expressed concern about the lack of personnel to help his work and the small office that has been given to him for his work.
Although on September 27, 2018, Deputy Chief of Staff, Abu Jinapor, told Joy News the L.I. will be laid before the House when sitting resumes in October that did not happen.
Mr Ahiafor, who is also National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Akatsi South Constituency in the Volta Region, says the feet-dragging has gone on for too long.
“The Office of the Special Prosecutor has been in existence for some time; what is delaying the passage of the L.I. to give full effect to the Act? It is long overdue,” he stressed.