Senior Vice President of IMANI-Africa, Kofi Bentil, says the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin’s position on the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) is very well appreciated.
Alban Bagbin during the consideration of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill 2021, on December 12, said the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) was an act in futility.
He stressed that the office will not achieve any results in the fight against corruption and instead insisted on the decoupling of the Attorney General’s department from the Ministry of Justice.
“As for the law you passed on the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, I did tell you that it was an act in futility, you were not going to achieve anything but you went ahead and passed it,” he said.
However, reacting to the Speaker’s comment, Kofi Bentil said while Mr. Bagbin’s position is valid, it had earlier been discussed and the conclusion was that it (decoupling of the Attorney General’s department from the Ministry of Justice) also would fail to provide the much needed results.
He explained on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that the Attorney General’s Department had primarily been tasked to handle anti-graft cases within the government, however, that has not worked in the more than 50 years of Ghana’s independence.
He stated that there were structural impediments that hindered the Attorney General from performing such a function, hence the need to decouple that function from his department to create the OSP.
“I see his point. The truth is, the Speaker’s position is very well appreciated, it was exhaustively discussed, there were many viewpoints and the conclusion was that much as it was within the authority of the Attorney General to do that work, over 50 years of our independence that work has not been done by the Attorney General and it’s not for lack of trying, and it’s not because the Attorneys General were not determined to do it, there were structural, real problems why that couldn’t happen.
“So the Speaker’s position was discussed at length and the conclusion that some of us came to, those who were pushing the office of the OSP thing too was that we needed to carve that piece out and create an arrowhead to focus on anti-corruption, going after people who were involved in corruption who tended to be part of the executives.
“And it was anomalous that we were going to have an Attorney General who was part of the executives going after their people. And I don’t want to go into all the reasons there but the first point we made is that the Speaker’s position is appreciated, it is a valid position but it was sufficiently discussed and it was decided that we needed to move in a different direction,” he said.
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