In a recent statement, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has restated his belief that the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) was futile in curbing corruption. Bagbin had originally opposed the passage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act in 2017, warning that it would not effectively combat corruption. Despite his opposition, the act was passed. Bagbin argues that instead of creating a separate office, the government should have allocated more resources to the office of the Attorney-General to tackle corruption.
During a discussion on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, Bagbin expressed his disagreement with the decision to establish the OSP. He emphasized that the authority to address corruption issues is already vested in the Attorney-General, according to the constitution. Bagbin’s opposition to the OSP represents his long-standing stance on the matter, as he was Deputy Speaker when the act was passed.
During the discussion on the bill, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, opposed a proposed amendment that sought to explicitly address the offense of sexual intercourse with an animal in the new legislation. Anyimadu-Antwi argued that such an offense is already covered in the Criminal Offenses Act and does not need to be repeated in the new bill.
However, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, a Member of Parliament for the National Democratic Congress, disagreed with the Chairman. Dafeamekpor pointed out that the OSP Act incorporated the offense of corruption, even though it was already covered in the Criminal Offenses Act. He argued that the new bill should also explicitly include the offense of sexual intercourse with animals, as it would enhance the existing law and contribute to the fight against corruption.
In light of this discussion, Bagbin reiterated his opposition to the creation of the OSP. He emphasized the need for separation between the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Justice to strengthen the fight against corruption. Bagbin suggested that the Minister of Justice, a political appointee, should be distinct from the Attorney-General, who should be a technical professional. He stressed that these roles do not need to be incorporated into the Constitution, but rather should be separate entities.