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Creating an Office of Special Prosecutor was an ‘act of futility’ – Alban Bagbin

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The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has reiterated his stance that creating the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) was an “act in futility”.

He said ahead of the passage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017, (Act 959) by Parliament he disagreed with the House.

He said he despite warning that the passage of Act 959 would not help curb corruption, the House went ahead to pass the act.

In his view, what was needed to nip corruption in the bud was for the government to fund the office of the Attorney-General (A-G) and not the creation of the OSP.

“As for the law you passed on the Special Prosecutor, I did tell you that it was an act in futility. You were not going to achieve anything from that but you went ahead to pass it,” he said.

Bill consideration  

Speaking during the consideration of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021 in Parliament on Tuesday [Dec 12, 2023], Mr Bagbin said “I disagreed with you but I was alone.

“Well, I am very clear in mind that, that authority is embedded in the powers of the Attorney-General constitutionally,” he stated.

Mr Bagbin was the Second Deputy Speaker of the Seventh Parliament when the OSP Act was passed in 2017

During the consideration of the bill, the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, expressed his opposition to a further proposed amendment for the abhorrence of sexual intercourse with an animal to be stated categorically in the new bill.

He said such offence was catered for in Criminal Offences Act, a reason there was no need for such provision to be repeated in the new legislation.

However, the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, disagreed with the Chairman.

He said in Act 29 of the Criminal Offences Act, there was a provision that criminalised the offence of corruption but the House, in the OSP Act, incorporated the offence of corruption.

“So, once it enhances the existing law, this House, by practice, has enacted positions that go to the fight against corruption,” he said and prayed that the offence of sexual intercourse with animals should be part of the new bill.

Separation of powers

The counter-argument prompted the Speaker to reiterate his long-held opposition to the creation of the OSP.

He categorically called for the separation of the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Justice to bolster the fight against corruption.

“You separate the two – the Attorney-General and the Minister of Justice; the Minister of Justice is a political appointee and the Attorney-General is a technical person and he is only ranked with conditions of service to that of Minister of State.

“It does not mean they have to be incorporated into the Constitution,” he stated.

source by graphic news

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