As government fails to meet its own deadline present a Legislative Instrument (L.I.) for the Office of Special Prosecutor to Parliament, a Legislator has asked the President to walk the talk against fighting corruption.
Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, Bernard Ahiafor, has said government’s failure to ensure the L.I. is passed by Parliament a year after he appointed the Special Prosecutor, is a testament of its 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 incumbent New Patriotic Party government to prosecute individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices and to prosecute these offences on the authority of the Attorney-General.
It is a specialised agency that President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo wants to be tasked with the investigation of specific cases of corruption involving public officers and politically-exposed persons.
However, several months down the line, 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 spoke bitterly about the lack of personnel and a small office.
When the L. I. is passed, it will among others, enable Mr Amidu to staff his office and begin work with full force.
Although on September 27, 2018, Deputy Chief of Staff, Abu Jinapor, told Joy Newsthe L.I. will be laid before the House when sitting resumes in October, that has not happened.
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 in bringing the L.I. to be able to give full effect to the Act? It is long overdue,” he stressed.
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