I have read Mr. Martin Amidu’s quite deft and acute interpretation of the Special Independent Public Prosecutor’s Bill and do not see any reason why the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice believes that a Clause 3 Sub-Clause 4, which he claims to have been later appended to the Special Prosecutor’s Bill after it had been introduced to Parliament is deviously and, perhaps, mischievously aimed at subverting the entire purpose of the establishment of the Office of the Special Independent Public Prosecutor by whoever appended the same (See “Let’s Not Undermine Corruption Fight in Special Prosecutor’s Bill – Martin Amidu” Modernghana.com 7/25/17).
In the main, the critic is worried about the fact that the aforesaid Clause or Sub-Clause attempts to focus the prosecutorial purview of the Special Independent Public Prosecutor on crimes that may be classified as “Mega-Larceny,” such as the Woyome Heist, while other equally serious and insufferable acts of criminality and crimes against the public till, or the Ghanaian taxpayer, that are not considered as “Grand Larceny” will not fall under the jurisdiction of the Independent Special Public Prosecutor. The problem here is that practically speaking, the Office of the Special Independent Public Prosecutor is intended to complement the Office of the Attorney-General and the regular courts, and not run either parallel or coordinate to the same. In other words, cases that are not taken up by the Office of the Special Independent Public Prosecutor will still be handled by the Ministry of Justice. I suppose the specialized courts will still function the way they are presently. And so in reality, what we have here is the establishment of a prosecutorial office that will more expeditiously be focused on crimes that the current judicial system has demonstrated not to be capable of effectively handling, like the Woyome Heist, because too many powerful politicians and their cronies and associates may be deeply implicated in the same. I sincerely believe that under absolutely no circumstances was the Clause, or Clauses, referred to by the former Atta-Mills presidential running-mate inserted by government operatives “with clearly different and opposite criminal objectives” from those of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Whatever the real case may be, the test of the validity of this bill may well lie down the pike, as it were. For as the maxim goes: “The real taste of the pudding is in the eating of the same.” Once the Office of the Special Independent Public Prosecutor has been established and is in full operation, the concerns laudably expressed by Mr. Amidu, and other critics who side with him, will be either vindicated or disproved. For now, the key phrase here is “Let’s just wait and see.”
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 26, 2017
E-mail: [email protected]