The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is promising to create an office for a Special Prosecutor which will be independent from Executive control to prosecute corrupt government officials.
The NPP flagbearer who was addressing a cross-section of Ghanaians in the United Kingdom recently, said he was determined to fight against corruption – hence his resolve to set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Nana Addo did not say whether the Special Prosecutor would be backed by law, or just a department operating from his office.
It is, however, important to note that this is not the first time an opposition politician in Ghana is promising the establishment of an independent prosecutor’s office. The NPP, in its 2000 and 2004 manifestos, promised to separate the Attorney-General’s Department from that of the Minister of Justice. Though the party formed the government in 2001 and ruled for eight years, that promise was never fulfilled.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) similarly inserted in its 2008 and 2012 manifestos, a promise to separate the A-G from the Minister of Justice. The party has since assumed the reins of office, but for close to seven years, this promise is far from being implemented. In fact, page 33 of the NDC 2012 manifesto reads: “Separate the Attorney General’s Department from the Ministry of Justice to promote greater efficiency, and better transparency in the administration of justice.”
The now ruling party even went further to state that “the new NDC government will not introduce any new taxes (Page 45), and that NDC’s tax policy will be to increase the disposable income of individuals, by reducing individual tax rate through the broadening of the tax bands (Page 45).” Whether this promise has been fulfilled or not, we leave it to the judgement of you, the reader of this piece, because this is not the issue we are discussing.
In the case of President Kufuor, all he could do in the fulfillment of the pledge made by his party was to establish an Office of Accountability at the Castle, but failed to provide the head of that office the teeth to bite. It is based on these historical records of promises and failures that The Chronicle is a little bit skeptic about the latest promise being made by Nana Addo. It is instructive to note that both the NPP and NDC always promise to separate the A-G from the Ministry of Justice when they are in opposition, but tend to forget their undertaking when voted into power.
The Chronicle, however, hopes that Nana Addo will not follow in the footsteps of his predecessors, but will actually honour his words by separating the A-G from executive control. This is the only way the citizens of this country can expect proper accountability from government officials.
Source: The Chronicle
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