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National Media Center On The Presidentís State Of The Nation Address
 
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21-Feb-2017  
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National Media Center for Social and Economic Justice notes with interest the commitment expressed by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo to send to parliament appropriate legislation to help enforce the proposed ‘Office of Special Prosecutor’.

It is indeed very heartwarming, considering the debate that has surrounded the matter in recent weeks. The debate on the Office has largely centered on its constitutional propriety and the issue of its assured independence.

These are issues that cannot be swept under the carpet, hence, the decision of the president to send the matter to Parliament for legislative action, as indicated in his maiden State of the Nation Address today, is a move in the right direction. At the heart of the matter are issues of security of tenure, independence from government interference and grounds for removal, among others.

The National Media Center calls on the President, Nana Akufo-Addo to make the Special Prosecutor’s salaries, allowances, facilities and privileges payable or available,be determined under article 71 of the sovereign Constitution of Ghana.

Also, National Media Center is calling for the office of the Special Prosecutornot to be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority in the performance of his/her functions and that he should be made to retire from office at any time after attaining the age of seventy years.

To make the Special Prosecutor truly independent and effective, it is imperative that he or she is not seen to please anybody or organization but to strictly adhere to the principles of justice and fairness.

In the past, there have been reports of corruption within governments but while some of these reports have provided strong grounds for investigation and possible prosecution, the political will to do so has been lacking. Appropriate legislative support for the Office of the Special Prosecutor will not only provide the necessary constitutional buttress but will also serve to institutionalize a culture of vigilance and discipline within government and other critical sectors.

In furtherance of his duties, the Special Prosecutor should be given proactive powers to smell out corruption and prosecute where appropriate.

We welcome the commitment by the president to enforce the Procurement Law particularly within the energy sector. This is a sector that has been battered by a troubling crisis and instilling discipline in procurement procedures and practices will provide important verve to the sector.

We urge the president to ensure that all key actors who are required to play roles in attaining these targets are up to the task and closely monitored. This should not just be another political talk shop but rather, should mark the beginning of a new era of financial discipline and prudent economic management. 

Dr. Daniel Nkrumah

(Advisory Board Member)
 
 
 
Source: James Kofi Annan/ jameskofiannan@gmail.com
 
 

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