A round table discussion on the proposed creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has taken place in Accra.
The discussion, organized by Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), in collaboration with the Center for Democratic Governance (CDD) Ghana, and with funding support from Strengthening Action against Corruption (STAAC), brought together various stakeholders including the media fraternity who shared their ideas concerning the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
The Programme also brought on board experts in both legal and civil society organizations.
The programme aimed to generate recommendation on the legislative and operational structure of the OSP, taking comparative lessons from other jurisdictions for presentation to government for consideration.
After careful deliberation and analyses, it was recommended that the Special prosecutor should be totally independent from the state and, for that matter, article 88 of the Constitution should be amended in order have SP whose appointment and tenure of office not determined or interfered with by the Executive arm of Government.
Countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Jamaica were used for comparative review where an Office of a Special Prosecutor has been in existence for years.
In a presentation, Mr Korieh Doudua, a representative from STAAC, showed how the various jurisdictions sought to guarantee the independence of the OSP, the relationship between the OSP and the Attorney General, what constitutional protection would be given to the OSP, as well as its functions and effectiveness.
It was also agreed that there was the need for co-ordination between the SP and other security agencies such as the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Police.
It was also recommended that for the Independent Prosecutor not to be biased and in order to enable him deliver effectively, its investigative powers should be well equipped with the required logistics.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had indicated that one of his initial priorities would be to establish the Office of a Special Prosecutor as part of measures to deal with corruption.
The move, according to him, was intended to "separate politics from criminal investigations."
Source: ISD (Solace Esi Amankwa)