Another “Atuguba” that the NPP will love to hate?

Folks, the outcome of Akufo-Addo’s useless Election 2012 petition stood the Chair of the Supreme Court panel (Justice Atuguba) in a bad stead in the eyes of the NPP camp. He became an instant object of hatred, drawing all kinds of verbal attacks; but he survived the whirligig.

When ex-President Mahama chose Dr. Raymond Atuguba of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, Legon, as his Secretary, his opponents quickly made connections to ratchet up their negative politics. After serving in that capacity, he returned to the academy and is now emerging with what Akufo-Addo and his government will hate to hear:

“A legal expert, Dr. Raymond Atuguba, has pulled stitches out of the government’s proposed Office of Independent/Special Prosecutor, describing it as an illegality that will not pass the test in the Supreme Court if Parliament goes ahead to pass the Bill into law.

In a fiery delivery of his opposition to the Bill, the law lecturer said the office was null and void in the absence of a constitutional amendment.

“Under our current constitutional dispensation, no prosecutor in Ghana can be legally independent. Again, under our current constitutional dispensation, no prosecutor can be legally special.

“Any attempt to pass a law that establishes the Office of the Prosecutor that purports to be special or independent does not only do violent to Article 88 of the Constitution but will not pass constitutional master in the Supreme Court,” he said at a public forum on parliamentary oversight and good governance in Accra last Wednesday. (Seehttps://www.ghanaweb.com/…/Atuguba-pulls-stitches-out-of-pr…).

No doubt, Akufo-Addo’s persistent boasts of being the only one capable of tackling corruption in Ghana (because he is neither corrupt nor corruptible) are pinned on this so-called Office of the Special (or Independent) Prosecutor, even though the steps being taken to establish it are faulty. The bill sent to Parliament for deliberation on that score tumbled because of the incompetence of the Akufo-Addo team that drafted it (without even ensuring that it would meet the 21-day ultimatum of gazetting before being dealt with by Parliament).

No one is enthused about Akufo-Addo’s boast that the Special Prosecutor “is coming in October” because no firm locus exists for that entity. And we are in October.

As already pointed out, this phantom “Office of Special (or Independent) Prosecutor” cannot be established just because Akufo-Addo thinks it will help him pursue his politically motivated agenda to cherry-pick those to be maligned and persecuted on the basis of corruption.

More importantly, when will this Office be set up and equipped for it to function within this period of political uncertainty? As to its mandate or purview, folks, you can imagine what Akufo-Addo and his overzealous henchmen (Basket Mouth Yaw Osafo-Maafo in mind here) have in mind for it. Does that portend any “independence”? When glaring instances of corruption in this infantile administration have already disgusted the public and will make nonsense of any move against political opponents?

As Dr. Atuguba has rightly put it, anything to be done without constitutional amendment is null and void at scratch. How come that the so-called “interrectuals” in the NPP camp couldn’t see things beyond their noses to do the right thing as Dr. Atuguba is poking their ribs on now?

No amount of impunity or “TAKASHI” will pave the way for the establishment of this organ. When push comes to shove, what Akufo-Addo has in mind will only lead to chaos.

Although Ghanaians wish that corruption in the public sphere will be eradicated, they don’t expect the kind of unconstitutional move being made by Akufo-Addo in that respect. Our democracy calls for constitutionality, which must be adhered to.

Meantime, we recall the NPP’s vehement criticism of the NDC administration under Atta Mills for initiating moves toward constitutional amendment (the establishment of the Constitutional review Committee, whose executive Secretary was this very Dr. Raymond Atuguba. More than 6 million Dollars was spent on this agenda, which produced results that the Mahama administration didn’t implement. Neither has Akufo-Addo indicated any desire to implement them.

Meantime, the moves toward passing the Right to Information bill have stalled ever since the Mahama administration failed to pass that bill through the mill and the weakling called “Parliament” turned its eyes to frivolous issues in pursuit of insignificant ideals that won’t grow our democracy but butter the bread of Parliamentarians).

So, we are stuck. No constitutional amendment as proposed by the Constitutional Review Commission means a lot to our democracy. No wonder that the Akufo-Addo government is confused on whether to go for the election of chief executive officers of the Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies as often agitated for during the electioneering campaign period. Now, it is a ding-dong verbal gymnastics: Akufo-Addo had said that the elections of such people would be done in 2018 only for the Deputy Minister of Local Government (and whatever else) to say that it is impossible for such an election to be done. So, what is what now?

In any case, what Dr. Atuguba has revealed is eye-popping; and it poses a terrible challenge to Akufo-Addo and his so-called vision for Ghana. Thanks to Dr. Atuguba for speaking out so boldly on this matter. Now, let the “jaw-jaw” begin.

I shall return…

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, October 6, 2017

  • E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com
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