On media websites, Ghanaian reporters were giving undue credit to the National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary minority for the government’s decision to withdraw the bill seeking to establish the Office of the Independent Special Public Prosecutor. Well, the truth of the matter is that the NDC-MPs, led by Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, had merely complained on procedural grounds, to the effect that the bill had not been gazetted before it was brought to the august floor of the House for debate. Now, that is not equivalent to the sort of civically responsible due diligence conducted by Mr. Martin Amidu, the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, who was scandalously fired because he had flatly refused to give up his investigation of the Woyome Heist, at the request of then-President John Evans Atta-Mills.
Those who are fond of praising the late President as the most honest and righteous postcolonial Ghanaian leader that ever lived, have obviously forgotten that many of us have mnemonic capacities that are more powerful and deeper than that of a pachyderm. At any rate, the real problem with the Special Independent Public Prosecutor’s Bill was that of the lack of clarity of the language of a clause that inadvertently sought to imply that only behemoth or the most massively corrupt of public officials will be snagged and punished by this prosecutorial adjunct to the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms. Gloria Akuffo (See “Emile Short Backs Withdrawal of Special Prosecutor’s Clause” 3News.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/27/17). The National Democratic Congress’ Parliamentary Minority has been vigorously resisting the passage of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s electioneering campaign promise of establishing an Office of the Special Independent Public Prosecutor, on the specious grounds of witch-hunting because they had largely constituted the previous regime, which is alleged to have racked up more debts for the country than any other government since the fabulously profligate Nkrumah-led government of the so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP). Actually, as far as I have been able to ascertain for myself, at least via a critical reading of Mr. Amidu’s remarkably long disquisition, there is not much that was amiss with the language of the clause of the bill in question, namely, Clause 4 Section 4. Needless to say, nitpicking is what Ghanaian critics do best. But I was also wondering whether Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo could invite suggestions from Messrs. Amidu and Short, among others, on how to best rephrase the clause and/or the sections of the same to clearly reflect the functional purview of the Office of the Independent Special Public Prosecutor. Time is of the essence here, especially when one reckons the fact that the Akufo-Addo Administration is fast entering into its seventh month. Which means that the first anniversary of this government is only five months ahead. Of course, the present government has achieved far more in six months than any previous National Democratic Congress’ regime, including that of the party’s founding patriarch, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings. One also hopes that Nana Akufo-Addo and his point men and women will be preparing to fully focus on the “One District, One Factory” policy agenda of the present government.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 30, 2017
E-mail: [email protected]