Ghana Doesn't Need Expatriate Prosecutor!

Feature Article President Nana Akufo- Addo
JUL 19, 2017 LISTEN
President Nana Akufo- Addo

Sus Snow is phonetic spelling of mispronounced American alias of Ghanaian facebook friend. I think her real Ghanaian name is Akumaa or something of the sort. Akumaa and myself had a heated debate on her facebook wall. She was reacting to The Guardian reportage in which the judicial term prosecutors was used to describe the procedural role leading to conviction. The report which read epigrammatically thus, "prosecutors convicted suspect." She wasn't cool with the fact that The Guardian could use the term "prosecutors" to volley round the message to its audience with direct reference with conviction of suspect in guilty verdict

Miss Akumaa argued that indeed. The Guardian was wrong in its reportage in respect to the medium of communication. That, the English language according to her, should have been the jury or judge convicted the suspect instead prosecutors. Well, myself being on the other side of the divide and beside myself made brief inhalation and exhalation and soliloquized. The soliloquy was that there are several revealing factors that would have dissuaded Miss Snow to change that position

One, the whole judicial process with effect to convict or acquit is called prosecution. That is why the term "prosecute" is used to refer to try or put through justice system. In essence if we have 'prosecute,' 'prosecution,' why not prosecutors as general concept couched in embodiment of the investigative police, bailiffs, jury selection, prosecutor and judge?' Two since it is the prosecutor, the one that indicts, initiates legal proceedings and doggedly pushes for conviction of potential offender/s. There wouldn't be anything wrong, if s/he apparently convicts suspect ( coarsely used )

That is my candid opinion though Miss Akumaa won't acquiesce. My personal encounter with my Ghanaian facebook fellow has a lot to do with the plan by the government led Nana Addo to set up Prosecutor Office. In Ghanaian political domain the yet to be implemented office is called of Special or Independent Prosecutor

I find a little odd to accept that special attachment to it ( special/independent ) because is going to be like any other state institution or Department. Take for instance; in Spain there is Supreme Court ( Tribunal Constitucional ) set up with the sole purpose of interpreting spanish federal laws or constitution. That is to say no other case is tried in this particular court apart from issues relating to what spanish constitution say

And this is the least said about one of the supreme courts in Spain. The Tribunal Constitucional simultaneously/spontaneously ( without the necessity of anyone filing a suit ) abrogated Catalonia's prohibition of Bullfight. Bullfight is considered to be one deeply revered traditions of Spain. And Spain allowing regional devolved governments. Catalonia's - located on the northeastern part of Iberian Peninsula - prohibition of the Bullfight within the Catalan demarcations was based on regionally made law/s. Also, there is Fiscalía Anticorrupción, literally anti-corruption prosecutor specially set aside for anti-corruption fight

Incidentally, both Tribunal Constitucional and Fiscalía Anticorrupción are neither called special nor Independent. Because other supreme courts and prosecutors, in likewise manner dispense other state duties with profiency

Now if we should go back to my characteristically unusual debate with a facebook account handler about prosecutions. Prosecution spanning the investigative law enforcement agents, prosecutor/s, court bailiffs, jury selection and ultimately the judge. Ironically according to international law and that of Ghana, prosecution procedure is incomplete without defense attorney. I will not hesitate to add the defense attorney/s to the cream of professionals that form the composition of elements of prosecution

My dear sister disdainfully and egregiously with naïve approach narrowed it to the prosecutor that indicts and initiates legal proceedings as a dictates of procedural norm. In Ghana, the practice of using police officer as prosecutor of which the subject matter is about, is awkward must be reversed. For me, the function of prosecutor, mainly state attorney/s, is catalyst. And without the due diligently conducted forensic evidence, the work of prosecutor ( the one that indicts, initiates and pushes for conviction ) is 'ceremonial' without the work of the police force--CIDs or BNIs

Let me be empathic here that state attorney or prosecutor's prosecutorial powers can't supersede that of Minister of justice and Attorney General (AG). Just as everywhere around the globe they are under leadership and censorship of AG. And that under no circumstances should prosecutor special or independent be allowed to investigate criminal or political malfeasance. That will amount to breach of constitution. Only police can investigate criminal acts. Nana Akufo-Addo may be dreaming, then we revisit the question of whether he really understands legal issues?

The actions of the president shouldn't change constitutionally established norms or culture and the fourth republican status quo. Even in Spain 'special anti-corruption prosecutor' is strictly under the AG. In US it is the local police authorities, FBI and CIA that are in charge of investigations not civilian prosecutor otherwise known District Attorney's Office. The DAs are strictly under federal AG Department. It is not the same thing for civilian to tap your computer software system or phone in comparison to police

In other words, it is the law enforcement agents who gather the evidence for the prosecutor/s. Deductibility the evidence gathering is inviolable/imprescindible for prosecutor to earn conviction in court of law. Relatively, we are planning to select some state attorneys to set up the so-called special/independent prosecutor to deal with corrupt government officials past and present.

Finally expatriate prosecutor/s would be to espensive to afford. My objection is rooted in the question of why we have to pay very huge amount for a job that can be done with less amount by Ghanaian counterpart/s. So if you suggest that we would need expatriates to teach our investigative apparatus about forensic accounting tracking and what-have-you. Then you and myself will be on the same page. Please note that it is not the expertise of the prosecutor that matters rather the expertise to gather the evidences

And the flip flops that surround the expected office only go to embolden the corrupt officials. The earlier we get the so-called special or independent prosecutor and all it entails right the better it be

Agobodzo, Richard
You can contact me through [email protected] or Agobodzo Richard