The debilitating effect of corruption on national development calls for serious commitment from political leadership to root out this canker from the system. Against this backdrop, we the members of the Young Cadres Association (YCA) would want to add our voice to calls for serious commitment and hands-on approach by the President Akufo- Addo-led in the fight against corruption. We do also recognize the onerous nature of such a fight but we believe President Akufo-Addo wants to hide behind the office of a Special Prosecutor to witch-hunt his political opponents.
We admonish the President to exercise maximum caution in taking this decision or risk polarizing this country further. In spite of the glaring conflict that such an office poses to the Constitution, the President is still bent on setting up such an office, for obvious ulterior motives. The 1992 Constitution succinctly states without any equivocation that only the Attorney General and Minister of Justice is clothed with prosecutorial powers in the state. To set up an office for a Special Prosecutor then, the Constitution must be amended to accommodate such an office. We do not see the likelihood of this being done.
Indeed, the propensity of politicians in this country to abuse state institutions and offices is so high that a witch-hunting mechanism cloaked in the guise of a Special Prosecutor is easily exposed. The name that has so far been mentioned by the President to be the first Special Prosecutor does not tell us that this office will really be an independent one, but one that would be used to witch-hunt political opponents. The President is reported earlier in the year to have settled on Mr. Akoto Ampaw as the first independent Special Prosecutor. Mr. Ampaw is a respected lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience in the legal fraternity. But we are also aware that he is a partner of President Akufo-Addo’s law firm, Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co. His prominent role for the NPP in the 2013 Election Petition at the Supreme Court is still fresh on our minds. Is it this person who will be objective, neutral and trusted to hold this office? We doubt! We thus entreat the President to replace Mr Akoto Ampaw, if he has already settled on him, and dig deep for an impartial personality. In the absence of this, the President’s move will only be seen as cosmetic and meant to simply fulfil a campaign promise and a personal desire to jail NDC officials.
Indeed, if Mr Akoto Ampaw is the one to undertake this job, then recent proclamations by the Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister, that the Government will begin prosecuting officials of the former government is indicative of the real intent of the President in setting up this office of Special Prosecutor. To say the least, Mr Osafo Maafo’s disclosure is sinister and smacks of a plot to use the Special Prosecutor to go after past government officials and other political opponents.
We thus call on the President to as a matter of necessity, ensure that the person appointed to as the Special Prosecutor is as neutral, a-political, and unblemished with even the least taint of political colouration. This will not only have the effect of ensuring credibility in the office, if indeed the President’s intents are genuine, but will also engender trust in the person and give real meaning to the fight against corruption. It is only then that we will be convinced the Special Prosecutor’s office is not another name for the Office of the Political Witch-Hunter!
Long Live Ghana
Long Live the NDC
Long Live Young Cadres
1. Michael Derry
2. Bright Botchway