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The Special Prosecutor Bill on Tuesday, 14 November was passed into an Act by Ghana’s Parliament.
The Act, when assented to by President Nana Akufo-Addo, will help his administration prosecute corrupt public officials via an independent prosecutor.
The Special Prosecutor’s Office is one of the main campaign promises made by the New Patriotic Party in the lead-up to the 2016 elections.
It, however, has its critics such as former President John Mahama’s Advisor on Governance and Corruption, Mr Daniel Batidam, who has described it as a “big joke”.
“…Stop the politics that is going on about a special or independent prosecutor. That thing is not going to fly. It’s a big joke. It’s a way of avoiding to tackle the problem,” the Executive Director at African Parliamentarians' Network Against Corruption (APNAC) said on Tuesday, 7 November.
Speaking in connection with Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia’s recent revelation that corrupt officials of the Mahama administration would soon face prosecution, Mr Batidam told Accra-based Joy FM that: “This Special Prosecutor thing, I don’t get it.”
“It is as simple as Nana Akufo-Addo’s Attorney General, if he or she has the evidence, to proceed to court and begin prosecution. In any case, if anyone tells me that the president wants to make sure he gets an independent person to do prosecution, he can easily find the independent person, appoint the fellow as Attorney General and the fellow will get to work,” he said.
He said the president can fight corruption without the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
“The issues that the president wants to tackle, he is tackling them. Is he not fighting galamsey? Have they set up an office to fight galamsey? Is the president not implementing free education? Did they set up an office to implement free education? If the president wants to fight corruption, he can fight corruption and I’m telling you that if corruption means allegations of corruption as we know them, then very soon all of us will get to know that there are as many allegations of corruption now as there have been in the past,” Mr Batidam noted.
As far as he is concerned, “Absolutely nothing is happening as far as the fight against corruption is concerned. And mind you, fighting corruption is not just about prosecution, there are many other things spelt out clearly in the 10-year National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP).
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