President Nana Akufo-Addo says his government is determined to establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor because it will significantly boost government’s capacity to fight corruption.
He said the proposed anti-graft institution will be independent and will not discriminate in the prosecution of persons involved in corrupt practices.
Speaking to Ghanaian residents in Zambia on Tuesday, the President said drafters of the bill which is yet to reach Parliament have ensured that the Special Prosecutor remains truly independent.
“When people are prosecuted, it is no longer witch hunting. It is not Akufo-Addo who is against his opponents…it will be the law taking its own course, and the law in Ghana should take its own course against all of us irrespective of our status, our politics or our ethnic [group] – we are all equal before the law,” the President said.
The bill, which is currently at the consultative stage, will go to Parliament after a final draft is presented to Cabinet.
The setting up of the office was a major campaign issue in the 2016 elections with the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) promising to set up an institution to oversee all prosecutions of corrupt public officials.
Prosecutions of public officials in the past have been greeted with allegations of witch-hunting.
At the event in Zambia, the President said corruption in public institution is a major challenge that must be rooted out at all cost.
“It has to stop. It has to stop. It is for the future of our country,” he stressed.
The Independent Prosecutor is likely to have a seven-year non-renewable tenure in office, according to Deputy Attorney General, Joseph Kpenka.
Mr Kpenka said the seven-year tenure is enough to guarantee for the person to be able to secure convictions for persons deemed to have misappropriated public funds.
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has dismissed the proposed institution as a duplication of the functions of the Attorney General’s Department.