The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is advocating a National Prosecution Authority (NPA) that will be an independent constitutional body, instead of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
In line with that, CHRAJ is also advocating a revisit of the work of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and the Constitutional Review Implementation Committee (CRIC) that worked on the bills for constitutional, legal and other administrative actions to effect the changes in governance Ghanaians desire.
The Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr Joseph Whittal, in calling for that, said the government would save itself from needless suits if it created the Special Prosecutor’s Office as an independent constitutional body to secure the position of the person to serve in that capacity and also to make it acceptable to all Ghanaians.
Mr Whittal also pointed out that the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), accepted by all as the master plan in the fight against corruption in Ghana, proposed a National Prosecution Authority.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra yesterday, Mr Whittal said there were indications that some opposition members in Parliament were ready to test the legality of the creation of the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Article 88 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 88 (3) states that the “Attorney-General shall be responsible for the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of criminal offences.”
According to him, all were for an independent prosecuting body; the challenge, however, was the manner in which it would be established and how independent the person holding the position would be.
Mr Whittal called on the government to give an indication of constitutional amendments as initiated by CRIC that would ensure the changes sought for by all for good governance.
“Currently, as we have it, the indication we get from the government is possible amendments to the Constitution to create more regions,” he said.
Mr Whittall reminded Ghanaians of the effort, resources and funding that had been expended on the CRC’s work, the report that had been completed, as well as the bills initiated by the CRIC for a better constitutional practice.
“Even if the government does not intend to work with the White Paper issued by the previous government on June 15, 2012, it can review the report, issue its own perspectives on it and carry on with it,” Mr Whittal said.
The CRC was inaugurated on January 10, 2010 to consult with Ghanaians on the operation of the 1992 Constitution.
It completed its work and submitted the report, “From a Political to a Development Constitution”, on December 20, 2011.
CRIC began its work in October 2012 to initiate bills for constitutional amendments and administrative changes, ending its work in December 2016.