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07.06.2019 Feature Article

The Roaring June: What Does She Bring?

The Roaring June: What Does She Bring?

We dispatched May so quick just like the Brexiteers capitulated in their bid to exit the European Union (EU) last month.

But they're yet to launch a comeback.

Would they succeed?

In my native Ghana, a certain man is wailing.

A Landlord is making noise. I still exist. I do this and I do that, he tells the press. He paints a picture that suggests that he calls the shot and not the caretaker.

That's ECG for you.

I met him at Kulungugu..he was running away from the trouble makers. They owed him a lot. They owed him millions, but he couldn't collect them. Simply, he didn't have the balls.

That's why he contracted power distributors-- PDS to come to his aid and do the distribution job. Thank you though, for letting us know that you exist and you are not a mere rubber stamp.

I've got to go, Sir,I need to catch the next flight, lest I be stranded here. So. let's change gears and get down to the main menu.

Remember, what I said, don't mock the crocks, if you haven't crossed over the Offin River... 'cos the guys with the powerful jaws still possess their sharp teeth.

In Timbuktu, I learned Methuselah lost his teeth at age 965 but Noah kept his until the dawn of the great floods.

You didn't know that.

Did you?

And the rivers crested, the Mighty Ocean roared and everythin' that dwelleth under the Sun stood morose.

What's going on?

You'll understand it better when it gets closer to the nose. Trouble cometh not until Man beseecheth him. That's right.

You've my prayers and my blessings.

I pray you succeed. And I pray your trap catches not only the grasshoppers, lizards and the quadrupeds but also the kings and queens of the jungle.

For the first time in a long time, I met firebrand and anti-graft crusader KwasiPeter.

He says May was tough and rough. I thought he was referring to Theresa May,---the outgoing British Prime Minister.

"No', he says, "I'm talking about the month of May. The month I felt every man ridiculed me...The 'publicans'--ardent critics mocked me as though I had lost it all and my office didn't deserve to live any longer. And then I heard their wild claim that I've a tall list of MP's to be prosecuted."

Well, go tell it to them that, I Martin Kaiser Amidu I'm not a sloth and I'm not snoring, " he says. Say it loud and don't be grouchy as a bear. The mocking bird perches long at its own peril. And those who wants to dance with me tell them I'm more than ready.

They can continue to poke fun at the brooks but they shouldn't try with either Mississippi or the River Nile.

Are you ready Sir?

I think you now have the ears of the people.

Here's the microphone

"Silence, they say, is golden. But there is also the saying that in normal social and administrative interaction “silence means consent except in the law of contract”.

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader, the Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, is reported in a publication on Ghana Web of 5th June 2019 to have said in an interview on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia, as paraphrased by the report, that: “…. Parliament through the Special Prosecutor has received a tall list of parliamentarians, both NDC and NPP members who will be facing possible prosecution by the SP for various offences.”

The Office of the Special Prosecutor wishes for the purpose of transparency and accountability to state unequivocally that the Office has not submitted any tall list of parliamentarians from both the NDC and the NPP to the Leadership of Parliament as the list of parliamentarians or “members who will face possible prosecution by the SP for various offences.”

The Office of the Special Prosecutor has from time to time made written requests to the Rt. Hon. Speaker to release named Members of Parliament to assist it in conducting investigation into allegations of the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences.

Apart from the Hon. Mahama Ayariga, who is a 1 st Accused in a pending case filed in the High Court and therefore facing possible prosecution, the Office has not made any decision whether or not to charge any other Member of Parliament for a corruption offence let alone for such member to face possible prosecution by this Office. Should there be any bi-partisan agenda for publishing such untruths the public should be told upfront and boldly of their intentions and not through subterfuge.

About eight (8) other Members of Parliament from the NDC and the NPP, aside from the Hon. Mahama Ayariga, have been invited and released by Mr. Speaker for statements to be taken from them for suspected corruption and corruption-related offences. The investigators have not submitted any investigation dockets or recommended to the Special Prosecutor whether or not they ought to be charged with any corruption offences.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor wishes to state that nine out of 275 Members of Parliament cannot by any acceptable use of the English language be said to be a tall list even for the purposes of an invitation to release Members of Parliament to assist the investigation of corruption offences. The records must, therefore, be set right by not remaining silent and lend credence to the falsehood that there is a tall list from the Special Prosecutor of “members who will be facing possible prosecution by the SP for various offences.”

The Office of the Special Prosecutor shall, particularly, under the present first Special Prosecutor continue to invite members of both the Executive and Parliament without fear or favour, affection or ill will, to assist the Office in investigating the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-offices or as witnesses in such cases as required by the mandate of the Office.

When the list gets tall it will mean that the stables of corruption are getting very dirty and smelly and need to be cleared vigorously to excise the canker as demanded by the electorate at the 2016 Elections and actualized by His Excellency the President and Parliament. The Office has no evidence of such a tall list yet.

It is true as disclosed in the interview by the Minister and Majority Leader who is a dual member of the Executive and the Legislature, that the Leadership of Parliament engaged the Office of the Special Prosecutor, represented by the Special Prosecutor and the Deputy Special Prosecutor, in the morning of 3 rd June 2019 in discussions over Hon. Mahama Ayariga, a 1 st Accused person whose case was pending for hearing (arraignment) on 4th June 2019 pursuant to a Cause List issued by the High Court, Accra.

The invitation by the Rt. Hon Speaker to the Special Prosecutor for the discussion was dated 31 st May 2019 and received in the evening of the same day and has reference number OP/SPKR/19/030 and is not a classified document.

The Special Prosecutor made it clear at the discussions with the Leadership of Parliament that no provisions of the Constitution referred to by the Rt. Hon. Speaker in his invitation letter and submission at the meeting were applicable to Members of Parliament charged as accused persons for the crimes of corruption and put before a Court of competent jurisdiction for trial.

The determination of the days on which the trial criminal court will conduct the trial was entirely for the Court to decide and not for the Special Prosecutor to compromise in a private meeting with the Leadership of Parliament.

The Special Prosecutor stated clearly that the Office will abide by any decision rendered by the Courts on the matter but will not in a side meeting with the Leadership of Parliament agree, in advance, not to oppose such an application when raised by lawyers for the accused persons in Court simply because of their membership of Parliament. The Rt. Hon. Speaker’s certificate on immunities and privileges to the Court on 4th June 2019 was issued after the engagement of this Office with Parliament on 3 rd June 2019 and the results are well known.

The Executive and Parliament have a Constitutional and legal duty to respect the independence and impartiality of the Office of the Special Prosecutor as promised to the electorate in the 2016 elections. Any appearance of a bi-partisan mounting of pressure on the decision making process of the Office of the Special Prosecutor sends a wrong signal not only to the citizens of Ghana but also to the international community to whom the appearance was given that all citizens are willing to equally submit to investigation and prosecution for suspected corruption and corruption-related offences.

The fight against suspected corruption has to be engaged in whole heartedly by every citizen and with total commitment as enjoined by the Constitution. This is the time to move from lip service to real action in the fight against corruption subject only to the due process of the law.

The Special Prosecutor wishes to assure the Ghanaian public whose votes actualized the Office that he is not going to betray them and walk away from this job to satisfy any bi-partisan pressure.

The solution to gaining exception for Members of Parliament from investigation and possible prosecution for suspected corruption offences is to get the first Special Prosecutor out of office in a bi-partisan manner by impeachment or to allow the appropriate independent constitutional institution to do so. It will not work to allege a bi-partisan tall list for possible prosecution of parliamentarians when no such a tall list exists or has been submitted by the Special Prosecutor’s Office to any office: it only enables the creation of an artificial bi-partisan smoke screen for purposes of unduly delaying or running away from justice for a category of suspects accused of the commission of corruption offences."

You've spoken eloquently Sir.

Good Morning and Good Luck

"Yirikayiri', it means trouble is brewing.

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Gordon Offin-Amaniampong, © 2019

This author has authored 281 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: GordonOffinAmaniampong

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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