October 30, 2017

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo has informed Parliament that the proposed Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill 2017 will forcefully pursue the recovery of state funds to ensure corruption becomes unattractive.

In view of this, she said a lot is being done to make the office independent of all interference from political actors and the Attorney General’s department.

This came to light when the Bill went through second reading on Thursday, 26th of October 2017 after the AG requested for the proposed 120 amendment to the Bill to check if it is in line with the policy direction of government.

“The independence of the Office of the Special Prosecutor is secured by insulating the office from the direction or control of a person or an authority in the performance of a function of the office,” she said.

“The Bill also spells out the mandate of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

This includes the investigation and prosecution of cases of alleged corruption under the Public Procurement Act, and other corruption offences implicating public officers, politically-exposed persons and individuals in the private sector implicated in the commission of the offence, and the recovery of proceeds gained from the commission of corruption-related offences in order to make corruption very unattractive in this country.”

“The Special Prosecutor is empowered to request the presence of a person or representative of an entity whose affairs are to be investigated or any other person the Office considers necessary to assist them with information relevant to the matter being investigated by the Office,” she explained.

“The Bill further specifies how the Office of the Special Prosecutor is required to deal with the proceeds of corruption. An authorized officer is empowered to seize properties reasonably suspected to be tainted with corruption or corruption-related offences.”

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com