11 February 2017

Ghana: Mahama Endorses Special Prosecutor Initiative

Former President John Dramani Mahama has described the new government's decision to appoint a Special Prosecutor as "another step forward."

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as part of his campaign promises served notice he will set up an office of a Special or Independent Prosecutor to deal with corruption.

However, Mahama believes the independent prosecutor can only be effective if he or she is truly "independent enough" to deal with all manner of cases.

"The new administration in Ghana has decided to introduce an independent prosecutor. That's another step forward after NACAP [National Anti-Corruption Action Plan] and other interventions in the quest to fight corruption.

"But the independent prosecutor must be independent enough and prosecute cases even if from within this administration," Mahama said at the #MindSpeak event hosted by Aly Khan in Kenya.

Meanwhile, Starrfmonline.com has picked signals that President Akufo-Addo has settled on lawyer Akoto Ampaw as the Special Prosecutor.

The respected lawyer has defended media freedom over the years and is said to have "accepted the post" pending the processes in setting up the office.

"His knowledge in law is deep and has defended many people in court over human rights abuses," a source within the corridors of power told Starrfmonline.com. President Akufo-Addo had told the BBC that "... hopefully that person is going to be somebody who commands respect of the society and at the same time has an independent mind to make the decisions."

"She-She" as Ampaw is warmly referred to by his close circles was part of the New Patriotic Party's legal team during the 2012 election petition at the Supreme Court.

He is a partner of Akufo-Addo's law firm, Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co. Mr. Ampaw's latest case got the Supreme Court to order the EC to release collation sheets to the political parties prior to the December elections.

The government has promised to set up the Special Prosecutor's Office to prosecute public officials by the end of 2017.

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