The office of the Special Prosecutor lacks certain requirements to enable it to function effectively, the Commissioner for Human Rights And Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has observed.
According to Joseph Whittal, the office appears to lack the appropriate staff and infrastructure to carry out its responsibilities.
The Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu after an overwhelming endorsement by Parliament was sworn into office by the President in March this year.
His office at Labone in Accra was specially selected to ensure adequate independence from other ministries, in the discharge of his duties.
Although Mr. Amidu is believed to be going through cases of interest, the public is yet to know which case he will first prosecute.
Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Tuesday, CHRAJ Commissioner said Mr. Amidu’s Office is not empowered enough for the task ahead.
“For once in our history, we have paid attention to corruption and that is why we have the office of the SP. The office of the SP should be empowered. I am not happy that the office of the SP does not have enough infrastructure. The Special Prosecutor doesn’t seem to have enough staff. All I am saying is that the office of the Special Prosecutor is not empowered enough. How can we get results when the office has just a handful of staff…I don’t even know if they have a budget,” he said.
He also called for CHRAJ to be given prosecutorial powers in order to properly deliver on their mandate.
“There is some misconception among Ghanaians. CHRAJ works under statutes, CHRAJ performs investigative functions but cannot prosecute. I don’t think it will be out of place if CHRAJ is given prosecutorial powers. CHRAJ, however, has a broad mandate apart from the fight against corruption. If there is an office of the Special Prosecutor today then CHRAJ has to be commended”.
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