There was no show in Parliament yesterday concerning the presentation of a select committee’s report on the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill.
Although the House listed it on the Order Paper for presentation, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, told the House that the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs was still holding consultations on the bill.
Special Prosecutor Bill
The Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017, is to establish the Office of a Special Prosecutor as a specialised agency to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers and politically exposed persons in the performance of their functions, as well as persons in the private sector implicated in the commission of corruption.
The Special Prosecutor will prosecute the offences on the authority of the Attorney General.
The bill has since stoked a lot of controversy with legal brains, including Dr Raymond Atuguba, who have insisted that it is illegal and will not pass the test if sent to the Supreme Court.
His argument was that the 1992 Constitution vested the power to prosecute in the hands of the Attorney-General (A-G) and until that provision was amended, the Office of the Special Prosecutor would be ordinary.
The government, however, is counting on that office to give its fight against corruption a shot in the arm.
Northern Development Authority
However, the House read the Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017 which was at the consideration stage, with the House considering making more than 40 proposed amendments.
For almost an hour, there was back and forth about how to allocate enough place to women on the board of the NDA.
The Speaker, Professor Michael Aaron Oquaye, insisted that the current clause was vague on the minimum number of women that could be appointed.
The clause was eventually stood down to allow the committee to reword it to guarantee at least two slots for women when the bill was passed.