MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon Chairman of the Committee, clause 9 has no advertised amendment. [Pause.] Is that right, Hon Chairman?
Rightly so, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, I would put the Question. Yes, Hon Member? Clause 9 ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 10 -- Establishment of committees
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, subclause (2), delete Question put and amendment agreed to. Clauses 10 and 11 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, Headnote, delete and insert “Special Prosecutor and Deputy Special Prosecutor”. Mr Speaker, we are deleting “Administrative and Financial Provisions”. The reason is that clause 12 up to clause 17 deal with the appointment and other related matters of the Special Prosecutor and the Deputy Special Prosecutor. So, the Head note should be in tandem with the provisions as contained in the aforementioned clauses.
Mr Speaker, when he says Head note, it is a little misleading because these are actually sectional notes, unlike the Head notes which are written in bold letters. So “Administrative and Financial Provision” -- is there any portion that covers that? [Pause] So, he is now coming to insert the sectional notes from clause 18 onwards? [Interruption] That is alright.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreed to. Hon Chairman of the Committee, clause 12 xli?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (1), delete. Mr Speaker, we are deleting subclause (1) because it would be brought somewhere in the cause of the amendment at the appropriate time.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee is calling for a rearrangement of section 12. Ultimately, what appears here as clause 12 (2) in the original text would now become clause 12. What we have here as clause 1 is what he is now deleting, and in its place, substitute what appears on page 11 of the Order Paper, marked as clause 12 (2), that is Roman numeral xlv. So, that would take the place of what is originally clause 12 (1).
So, the proposed amendment is that clause 12 (1) should be deleted. Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 12 xlii -- Hon Rockson-Nelson E. K. Dafeamekpor?
Mr Speaker, as a result of the amendment that was just carried, mine as well as that of the Hon Minority Leader have been overtaken by events. I have the power and authority of the Hon Minority Leader to withdraw the proposed amendment as a consequence of the amendment. So both amendments are withdrawn accordingly.
Very well. Leave is granted. Clause 12 xliii - Mr Haruna Iddrisu.
Mr Speaker, I have the permission of the Hon Minority Leader to move his proposed amendment. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (2), line 3, delete “approval of the majority” and insert “prior approval of not less than two-thirds” and after “Parliament” add “present and voting”.
Mr Speaker, because this is being relocated, the appropriate place for it would be when we reach that point. Here, we have deleted the clause --
Mr Speaker, with your guidance, it means that even though, the proposed amendment is relevant by the special structural re-arrangement, I would have to withdraw it and stand it down until --
You would withdraw it. It would be recorded as withdrawn but when we get to the place where you want to -- you could orally propose the amendment.
Mr Speaker, I am guided.
Hon Member, ‘xliv'?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, Add the following new subclause; “(2) A person is not qualified for appointment as the Special Prosecutor if that person; (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana; (b) has been adjudged or otherwise declared (i) bankrupt under any law in force in Ghana and has not been discharged; (ii) to be of unsound mind under any law in force in Ghana; (c) has been convicted (i) for high crime under the Constitution or high treason or treason or for an offence involving the security of the State, fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude; or (ii) for any other offence punishable by death or by a sentence of not less than ten years; or (d) has been found by the report of a commission or committee of inquiry to be incompetent to hold public office or is a person in respect of whom a commission or committee of inquiry has found that while being a public officer that person acquired assets unlawfully or defrauded the State or misused or abused the office of that person, or willfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interest of the State, and the findings have not been set aside on appeal or judicial review.”
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out under clause 12 in relation to Standing Order 129 (d) whether (c) or (b) under clause 12 would mean only someone found bankrupt in Ghana or someone of unsound mind in Ghana. What about if the person is found bankrupt outside Ghana or if the person found to be of unsound mind is outside Ghana? [Interruption] -- Under any law? All right, under any law.
Hon Member, are you satisfied?
Mr Speaker, once we are told that -- I am satisfied.
Mr Speaker, I appear not to be satisfied. This is because if we look at the provision, it states that: “A person is not qualified for appointment as the Special Pro- secutor if that person a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana; b) has been adjudged or otherwise declared i) bankrupt under any law in force in Ghana and has not been discharged; ii) to be of unsound mind under any law in force in Ghana; …” So, the issue that he is raising relates to what happens to a Ghanaian who has been found bankrupt outside the country or who has been established to be of an unsound mind by a law outside the country? Does it mean that person would be qualified to be appointed as a Special Prosecutor in Ghana?
Hon Member, you are a lawyer. Under conflict of laws, what is the value of a foreigner? It is a fact to be proved. So, if you say that somebody has been found to be of unsound mind in another country, we have to prove it in accordance with our law, so that the person could be confirmed here. But we cannot apply the laws of another country to our country. Certainly, under whatever law the person was declared bankrupt, it has to be proved here. So, it would still be under the Ghanaian law and I do not think there is any controversy.
Mr Speaker, may I seek your leave to arrest the vote and bring this to the attention of the House. This is because, at this stage, we are doing a structural amendment where we are inter-positioning some of the clauses. As a result, for example, if we look at the original clause, we have: “The Attorney-General shall nominate a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor by the President, subject to the approval of the majority of all the members of Parliament.” Mr Speaker, this amendment seeks to completely obliterate that.
Something has happened. Hon Majority Leader, first, we must re-number the current subclause (2) to be subclause (1) before this new insertion of (2) can find a place. Otherwise, we would have two subclauses under clause 12. This is because we have not taken any action in respect of the existing subclause (2) and we have not re-numbered that to be clause (1). Anyway, once we do this amendment, then the draftspersons would do the re- arrangement.
Mr Speaker, it is for that reason that I said at the very outset that we shall do some re- engineering there. Indeed, what is subclause (2) here should rather be subclause (1) and what is being amended, which is the original subclause (1), is now going to be subclause (2). When we deal with it, we would come to that one and maybe, you would resurrect the amendment proposed by the Hon Minority Leader. So, we would do the re-engineering with the numbering, and the understanding is that, we are dealing with the original subclause (1) here but then that would become subclause (2) and what is here as subclause (2), when we finish with it, would become subclause (1). This is because, it is “Special Prosecutor” and “Deputy Special Prosecutor”. Firstly, they must be established by subclause (2); “the Attorney-General shall nominate …” and this would then follow and qualify whoever gets nominated.
Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Majority Leader to tell us when this amendment that the Hon Minority Leader wants to move, would be moved. If he realised, we have deleted subclause (1) and by that deletion , we made subclause (2) the new (1). So, Mr Speaker, we cannot locate these ones. I only want assurance that there would be an opportunity for the Hon Minority Leader to move his amendment. Do not let us do the renumbering and when it gets to his turn we would say that there is nothing that he could move. Mr Speaker, let him assure us about where in this Bill that the Hon Minority Leader could move his amendment.
Mr Speaker, with respect to my Hon Colleague, at the very outset I said that what we are doing -- When the Hon Chairman moved for the deletion of subclause (1), I intervened to say that indeed with the proper rearrangement that subclause should rather be (2) and the current (2) should be (1). But for purposes of dealing with the original (1), we are now dealing with this but when we finish we would come to the original (2). Mr Speaker, so let Hon Yieleh Chireh have the blessed assurance that we would come to that place.
Shall we effect the change and then change the current (2) to be (1)? After that we would -- We are substituting the current (1) with this and after that we would change the numbering. Very well. Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, I see that there is an attempt to lift article 94 (2) into the Bill. Mr Speaker, we are establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor and what is so special about limiting qualification to only a Ghanaian and particularly a person qualified to be an Hon Member of Parliament. This country is replete with the history of prosecutors who are non- Ghanaians but who have prosecuted cases on behalf of the Republic of Ghana. Why would we limit it to a Ghanaian? And who says that somebody who has dual citizenship but has enough experience in fighting corruption in other jurisdictions cannot be appointed to pursue this matter? The whole case is not that we are looking for a Ghanaian to prosecute cases but we are looking for an opportunity to stop corruption and by whatever means or ways that we could stop corruption, we should explore that opportunity. Mr Speaker, so, we should not limit the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to only someone who is otherwise qualified
Mr Speaker, so, I propose that clause 94 (1) (a) should be deleted from the amendment. Mr Speaker, our judges are sitting in other jurisdictions and giving judgments. So, why do we think that, if in those other jurisdictions, there are experienced persons, those persons could not work in Ghana? Our laws should permit that.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, if we allow, Hon Inusah Fuseini would soon tell us that governance is about development and so we should not even allow only Ghanaians to be our President. Mr Speaker, we should restrain him from where he is going. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, the laws of those countries allow for that and with the introduction of the 1992 Constitution and the law on dual citizenship, we may not allow that in Ghana. If they allow for that, then so be it but let us not, for the reasons of the fact that the world has now become a global village, allow anybody from Papua New Guinea to be the Special Prosecutor of Ghana. Mr Speaker, I believe that there is nothing wrong with what is here. Let us go on; I insist that Hon Inusah Fuseini must be restrained.
Hon Ranking Member, I want to hear other Hon Members.
Mr Speaker, I speak in terms of the Constitution and I know it contains substantive limitations on the exercise of power, institutional and procedural limitations. Mr Speaker, within those limitations we could then pursue the enactment of an Act to be in conformity with the Constitution. I know that not everybody could be an Hon Member of Parliament, so I proposed that we delete (12 (2) (a). Why should we tie the hands of the President in appointing somebody to pursue -- Mr Speaker, I know that governance is about development and I also know that the pursuit of that development must be in tandem with the laws of this country.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I still stand to offer support to my senior Hon Colleague Hon Inusah Fuseini on this matter. Mr Speaker, we are all concerned about the independence of the Special Prosecutor and it is the most important thing to have in this law. We are concerned that this special person would deal with corruption irrespective -- Mr Speaker, I believe that if we would have to look for somebody from outside to give confidence to everybody in this country that such a person is not politically influenced then it is possible that we could contract somebody from outside to be a special prosecutor. I believe that the Hon Majority Leader in all his capricious [Laughter] and very intelligent ways of putting things -- I am very sorry but in this matter he is not only very whimsical but, very capricious. I am convinced that he knows what he is saying and if we are to get a Special Prosecutor who is not politically influenced, it might just be possible to get a foreigner despite -- [Interruption] -- There are other qualifications but we could vary it in terms of ensuring that this person is actually considered to be independent from any political influence. I am not being whimsical about this but I am very convinced.
Hon Yieleh Chireh?
Mr Speaker, I support the Hon Ranking Member because we are not to anticipate the issue. If we look at the new subclause (3), it says that the person should be non-partisan. Mr Speaker, but there is no Ghanaian who is non-partisan; they vote. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, apart from that, my argument is that this is the first time -- He argued for this Special Prosecutor and he has been talking about it before the draft came. The reason is that there are best practices elsewhere and they are mainly in Commonwealth; [Interruption] Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago [Laughter.] We have common legal systems and if we really want to learn. This is not an issue of colonialism but this is an issue of those who have done it before and could inspire confidence in the whole office. Mr Speaker, I know that he is looking for jobs for Ghanaians and that is a different matter. We are looking at the seriousness and non-partisan nature; somebody who could come and ensure that when a person is being prosecuted, the person would have no family links -- We are just pleading that we do not put it in the law --
Hon Yieleh Chireh, you think that we cannot get a Ghanaian who could be non-partisan and independent?
No, we can; I withdraw that. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, my point is that, we should not even put paragraph (a) there. We know that we could get somebody within Ghana who could be non-partisan and neutral with no family links with corrupt people. So, he should just delete it. I do not think the person is going to be a Member of Parliament; he is not going to be a diplomat representing Ghana and he is not going to be a Minister. He is a technical person that is why we should delete it; I support that. Let us just delete it. The further amendment must be considered.
Hon Majority Leader and the Chairman of the Committee, I am just looking at the qualifications of the Commissioner of CHRAJ. They put it simply and beautifully to probably capture the same thing. Per article 22: “A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Commissioner or a deputy Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, unless he is -- (a) In the case of Commissioner, qualified for appointment as a Justice of the Court of Appeal; and (b) (b) in the case of a Deputy Commissioner, qualified for appointment as a Justice of a High Court. So, whether a Zimbabwean or a Gambian would be qualified as a Justice of the High Court, because of the track record of how we appoint our judges, it would make it easier. I do not know whether you would want to consider that simple rendition. Yes, Hon Chairman?
Mr Speaker, I am of the candid opinion that this proposed amendment ought to stay. This is because, first of all, we are looking at a Special Prosecutor who is a Ghanaian; a Special Prosecutor who is a lawyer and has been called to the Ghanaian Bar and is of 12 years standing at the Bar. We all know that before one could be called to the Ghanaian Bar and practise in Ghana, that person ought to be a Ghanaian. So, along the nook and cranny of this country, we could find a lawyer of high repute who is a Ghanaian and who could competently and conveniently man the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Now, to say that we would have to go outside the jurisdiction of this country to import somebody from outside to be a Special Prosecutor would be tantamount to, to the best of my knowledge, draining the insufficient coffers of this country. Mr Speaker, it is not difficult to find somebody who is not partisan. There are a lot of people in Ghana who are non- partisan. So, for some of us to submit or argue that we should recruit somebody from outside as a special prosecutor to man the office of the Special Prosecutor -- In my opinion, that would be too much a burden on the insufficient funds we already have in Ghana.
Hon Chairman, your contribution has raised a major issue. Could somebody who has not been called to the Bar practise before our courts?
Mr Speaker, yes. Mr Speaker, there are institutional arrangements. A person cannot just come to Ghana and start practising law, but because we are analogous states or with similar institutions, when such a person comes, he goes through the system. There are institutional arrangements to recognise the person's experience and certificate and allow such a person to practice.
Let us continue in this exercise. For those who have been called to the Bar elsewhere, what are the papers they must pass before they could practise in Ghana. One of them is the Criminal Law of Ghana. Others are the Constitutional Law of Ghana and the Legal Systems. So, a person who has just learnt our Criminal Law, our Legal System and our Constitutional Law is the person we would place our hope in. We should look at this again. Let the person take six months, go through our legal education and be called to the Bar after six months. If in this six months he has not practised the Constitutional Law of Ghana, the Criminal Law and the Legal Systems of Ghana anywhere, and suddenly we appoint that person as our Special Prosecutor -- Let us think thoroughly on this again. I think it is a major issue we must overcome. Let me hear your junior lawyer and I would come back to you.
Mr Speaker, I rise in support of the amendment proposed by the Hon Chairman of the Committee and also the further amendment being proposed. No, Mr Speaker, I support the amendment proposed by the Hon Chairman. This is because, it is understandable that we have other Ghanaians of certain expertise working in other jurisdictions, but we are saying that, particularly to this Office, we are looking for somebody who has been called to the Bar and has practised for at least 12 years within our jurisdiction. In fact, in my class, there were a lot of Nigerians and Gambians who qualified with me. But they came to Ghana, we went to the Faculty of the Law, and from the Faculty to the Law School. It is not about the nationality; it is about having gone through the training in Ghana. There is a system for those who train within the Commonwealth Law to come and do the post call. Currently, that has been varied from six months to one year. It is a disincentive for a lot of lawyers trained outside of Ghana but within the Commonwealth. So, we are saying that we need somebody who owes allegiance to Ghana and who should have been called to the Bar and has practised for a minimum of 12 years in Ghana, so that with that kind of experience, in the course of practice and in the course of his work, he would understand the process of tracing property and freezing property better. If we bring in a Kenyan, for example, Professor P.L.O Lumumba, who has been a Special Prosecutor in Kenya before and we decide that, given that kind of background we would want to bring him to Ghana, he would be a total stranger to the particular processes in dealing with some of these practical issues in the course of performing the functions of his office. So, I would support the Hon Chairman's position for now. If after a few years we have issues, we could come back here and call for amendment. But for now, I think the amendment proposed by the Hon Chairman should stand. Mr Speaker, I humbly submit.
Yes, Hon Architect, tell us --
Mr Speaker, he has made my point for me very well. A citizen of another country can come and start school level in this country from primary school and finish university without ever being a Ghanaian. He may have got all the competence and knowledge. So, is it about citizenship or competence? Mr Speaker, if it is about competence, then why should we bring in the issue about citizenship? Indeed, as the Hon Member said somewhere, Ghanaian judges have gone to deliver justice in other countries without ever being citizens of those countries. Mr Speaker, it is important for us to know -- [Interruption] -- Hon Majority Leader says that, coaches are not public officials. There are 275 football coaches in this room, but we still go outside to recruit coaches for our National team.
Hon Member, who are they? You should name one.
Mr Speaker, all of our Hon Members know about football, including yourself. Mr Speaker, it is not --
Hon Member, there is no known coach who is an Hon Member of Parliament. [Interruptions] —
Mr Speaker, I can understand the issue about the competence, but I believe that if somebody, for example, gets married to a Ghanaian and has lived in this country for 30 years, he may have just decided not to be called a Ghanaian, but if he had been here and he was on indefinite leave to remain in this country and has got all the competence, then I believe that person should be allowed to occupy this position. It should not be reserved for a citizen just because he is a Ghanaian.
Hon Member, in the rendition, where is the “citizen”? Is it the person who owes allegiance to the country? Must he necessarily be a citizen?
Mr Speaker, I am not sure how else one could owe allegiance to this country -- [Interruptions] -- Well, then we must as well take a British give him an oath to swear and he would become a Special Prosecutor, if that is the argument by the Hon Member.
Hon Member, when somebody has not spoken into the microphone, then we have not heard him. Hon Members, I believe this matter is practically resolved.
Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh, let me hear you.
Mr Speaker, for all the arguments we are making, I still support this amendment because their own argument is that, a person must be 12 years at the Bar in Ghana. That is not what the Hon Member is saying. Mr Speaker, anybody can be at the Bar, so it would be redundant to just add subclause (a). It is superfluous to do that because once we say by their definition that the person must be at the Ghanaian Bar that is not what we are saying. Mr Speaker, we have the Queen's lawyers, who come here practise and defend people. Apart from that, we have sent so many people to Botswana, the Gambia and all those places, because of the communality of our legal system. Mr Speaker, the issue is that we should delete subclause (a) because it is not necessary.
Yes, Hon Member for Asante Akim Central?
Mr Speaker, I thought I heard the last Hon Member who spoke mentioned the fact that someone from the Queen's Bench could come to Ghana and practise. Mr Speaker, that is incorrect. That is misleading. One would have to be called to the Ghanaian Bar in order to practise in Ghana, so let us set the records straight.
Hon Members, they say that if a person owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana, then that person cannot be a Special Prosecutor. Hon Members, is that our bone of contention? For example, I am a citizen in another country -- not just a citizen but I owe allegiance to another country, and I reside here or I have been brought here to become the Special Prosecutor in Ghana and thus misconducts myself and run to my country -- [Laughter] -- Anyway I am only an umpire; I am becoming a participant.
Mr Speaker, we are not saying so. We are saying that yes, if we look at the governance arrangement and we look at the legal arrangement, we as a country have passed the Dual Citizenship Act. It means that dual citizens can hold some particular offices in Ghana. That is what it means. The position of the Special Prosecutor should be one of such Offices that a Ghanaian who is a dual citizen and who owes allegiance to another country can hold. Mr Speaker, that actually defeats the argument that we have been making all along. We have not said that somebody who is a ‘non-Ghanaian”-That is not what we are saying. Mr Speaker, we are saying that because we have passed laws in this country and have made it possible for Ghanaians who owe allegiance to other countries to hold offices in Ghana, we should make it possible for the Special Prosecutor to do same. That is what we are saying. So to say that somebody is not qualified -- Mr Speaker, a Ghanaian lawyer called to the Bar in Ghana who leaves the country, takes allegiance of the citizenship of another country is still a Ghanaian lawyer called to the Bar. That is what we are saying. So, what are they saying? That the person cannot practise in Ghana? Mr Speaker, we should open our minds and look at the arguments and the possibilities.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, what the Hon Ranking Member said is very offensive. He says that Hon Members should open their minds. Mr Speaker, that is very offensive. The fact that a person may not agree with what he said -- and I do not agree at all with what he has said. But that does not mean that my mind is closed. Please he should advert his mind to that.
Mr Speaker, I just wanted to invite Hon Members to look at the possibilities, but if it is interpreted to be an insult, then I withdraw. My point is that we should look at the possibilities because it appears to me that in our argument, we are narrowing it to only non- Ghanaians.
Thank you Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Constitution as amended under article 8 specifies those who can hold positions provided they do not have dual citizenship. The positions include Ambassador or a High Commissioner, Secretary to the Cabinet, Chief of Defense Staff or any Service Chief, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Custom Excise and Preventive Service
(CEPS), Director of Immigration and any Office specified by an Act of Parliament. Mr Speaker, we are saying that for this particular Office, which is so special, they should come out with these category. I do not see why there should be any argument about this. Mr Speaker, if we are saying that the Director of Immigration and CEPS should not have dual citizenship; if one would want to be a Special Prosecutor, too, then he should not come under dual citizenship. It is as simple as that and I do not see why we should make any arguments about it. What reason would we ascribe to a decision to appoint somebody who had dual citizenship to be a Special Prosecutor? What would be the reason? Mr Speaker, when in the Constitution, we have stated that the positions in certain categories or any office specified by an Act of Parliament, and we in Parliament here are proposing that, if we want to appoint a Special Prosecutor, that individual should not have dual citizenship, I do not believe that there should by any argument about this. We should just move on.
Hon Members, I have heard enough, so, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed to. Yes, Hon Majority Leader, before we go onto your proposed amendment I believe that at this pointy, we must let the records reflect the changes in the numbering so that -- Yes, Hon Chairman, let me hear you. What do you propose to do? Now we have carried the amendment. Which one do you propose to be subclause 1 and which one should subclause 2?
Mr Speaker, I did not get the last bit.
Hon Chairman, by the amendment, we have two subclause 25 to clause 12, but that is not your intendment. You intend that the original subclause 2 be (1). Is that right? So, we should let the records reflect that position. Let us move that, so that the records would reflect that, then we can consider the amendments which were --
Mr Speaker, I beg to move that subclause (2) of clause 12 becomes subclause (1) and subclause (1) rather goes to subclause (2).
Mr Speaker, he does not need to move a Motion on this. You would direct the draftspersons to arrange it based on the discussion we had.
Very well, I think there is an understanding so the draftspersons would take note and rearrange, such that the existing subclause (2) in the original Bill will become subclause (1) and the subclause (1) will become subclause (2). Now, Hon Dafeamekpor, you may then move your amendment on behalf of the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (1), line 3, delete “approval of the majority” and insert “prior approval of not less than two- thirds” and after “Parliament” add “present and voting”.
Can you tell us why?
Mr Speaker, this is because we are of the opinion that once we are equating the occupant of this office to one that occupies the Court of Appeal Bench, and considering also that the sense of independence is very critical to his day-to-day functions, it is important that the parliamentary approval is not simply by majority but by two-thirds majority present and voting. And we believe that gives it a much weightier leverage and a stamp of authority. This is the reasoning behind the present proposal being submitted for the consideration of the House.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Colleague is saying that it should be two-thirds of Hon Members present and voting. That is even a weaker majority. This is because the number required to take a decision is one-half. In our circumstance, that is one hundred and thirty-eight (138). So, if he says it is two- thirds of 138, Mr Speaker, that is even a weaker majority. What is here says that we should have a majority of all Hon Members, two hundred and seventy-five (275). So, the number is even higher than what he is proposing, which renders the amendment he is proffering impotent. So, Mr Speaker, I would urge him to withdraw the amendment.
Mr Speaker, I believe this amendment may be well intentioned but I would also go along with the Hon Majority Leader. This is because most of the times that you ask for two-thirds, it must be of all Hon Members. Whether national or District Assembly meetings, it must be two-thirds of all members. So, those who are absent would make it impossible for you to achieve the aim. For the first time, this planner has done a proper calculation. So please on behalf of the Hon Minority Leader, withdraw this amendment.
Or change it to all Hon Members. This is because if you ask me, personally, I would have preferred two-thirds of all Hon Members. This would get us to negotiate. We tend to be too partisan in these things, then we compromise the institutions and offices. It is one of the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission. It is still a decision to be made by the House.
Mr Speaker, this proposed amendment is well intentioned, therefore, I take a cue from the submissions and I am prepared to further amend that with prior approval to not less than “two-thirds of all Hon Members of Parliament”.
This is for the consideration of the House, that the nomination of the Special Prosecutor be approved by two-thirds of all Hon Members of the House.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion and in so doing, I believe the feeling is about parliamentary parlance. When we say, majority, it means Majority and Minority. So, if we just say majority of Hon Members present and voting, it is different from saying the majority, which might mean in an understanding, the Majority on the other side of the House. That is Parliamentary parlance. But I support the amendment. Thank you Mr Speaker.
Yes, any more contribution on this matter? I want us to discuss it further. Hon Member for Effutu?
Hon Yieleh Chireh, you have spoken a lot, I want to hear another voice. Yes, Mr Second Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, the reason we should support the further amendment is that, during the consideration of this Bill by stakeholders, one of the issues that was raised about the two-thirds was for everybody to know that the person who was to be appointed would be approved by both Sides of this House. Mr Speaker, because of the political statements about what the prosecutor would do to what -- My point is that, those stakeholders, and indeed, I know Prof Prempeh -- His argument was that it would force the Majority side to negotiate with the Minority side, so that the credibility and acceptance of this person as a person who should investigate and prosecute everybody would be guaranteed. It is not about hierarchy, that the Minister was approved by a simple majority and therefore why not a nominee of the Minister? It is a creature that we all want to be respected and accepted. If we said no, we could have it the way we want it. I still suggest that we should let the person we appoint to this office have a fair confidence that all the people who were involved in his or her selection -- Otherwise, maybe if we want the President alone to appoint the person, we should remove “parliamentary approval”. For the fact that we are including parliamentary approval, I support the further amendment that it should be two- thirds of all Members of Parliament who should approve.
Hon Member, you have some Hon Members behind you. I want further debate on this. Dr Appiah-Kubi, let me hear you.
Mr Speaker, there may be the need for negotiations but those negotiations would take place at the Committee level. That is why at the Committee level most of the appointees are approved by consensus. That is where the negotiations take place. I believe that since the Attorney- General herself is approved by a simple majority -- all approvals of Ministers are done by a simple majority. Why should it, in this case be by two-thirds majority? Are we not stretching the limit? I believe that by a simple majority, it would be in order, rather than to force or overburden the President or Parliament to go into other negotiations after negotiations have taken place at the Committee level. I believe a simple majority would do.
I would listen to Hon O. B. Amoah, then I would give the two Leaders the last word. Hon O. B. Amoah?
Mr Speaker, the issue more or less has been put to rest by the Hon Second Deputy Speaker. Two-thirds majority power should be used but used cautiously and when the demand arises. For instance, if we look at the Constitution, usually when it comes to the amendment procedure, it is specified that we should have two-thirds majority in Parliament. If it is vote of censure of a Minister, then it says two-thirds majority. It is not when we are approving the Special Prosecutor --
Hon O. B. Amoah, are you familiar with the findings of the Constitutional Review Commission regarding the heads of constitutional bodies? The appointment of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission -- What was the feedback they brought? They said that Ghanaians are dissatisfied because people tend to associate them with the specific regime that appointed them.
The feedback they brought was that, Parliament should approve such appointments. They did not go as far as to say that, it should be by two-thirds majority. They said Parliament should approve such appointments because, the President in consultation with the Council of State would announce the next Chairperson of the Electoral Commission. The sentiment of the public is that Parliament should have a say in it. So, if this Bill would go that far to say that the person to be appointed should appear before the Appointments Committee and for Parliament to vote on such a person, I think that we have gone far enough. However, if we insist on two-thirds majority, we would be stretching it too much. Even with Ministers, we do not insist on two-thirds majority in this House because the Constitution does not say that. How much more the Special Prosecutor, who for all intents and purposes, is below the Attorney-General? Mr Speaker, I believe we should go with what the Hon Second Deputy Speaker said and then go by a simple majority of Members of Parliament.
Yes, Hon Member? The last one before I go to the leaders.
Mr Speaker, we are not equating the occupant of this office to a Ministerial portfolio. This came up. This is somebody we would want to give a security of tenure of office for seven years, so the argument cannot be simplistically proven that because the Hon Minister, who as it were, would delegate part of her powers to this office for purposes of the functions we would set out and she would resist merely approval from Parliament, therefore ipso facto the approval that should be given by this person by Parliament should be simply by parliamentary approval. Mr Speaker, the merits and the demerits of these arguments came up before the Committee. Indeed, a further argument was made that we should not simply allow the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to nominate somebody of her choice, but that she should publicise the vacancy for others to also apply. They should be interviewed and go through all the processes of recruitment, then she can shortlist and nominate. Mr Speaker, all these recommendations have been brought forth as a result of how special we would want this person to be. Mr Speaker, this amendment is well intended and we would want to say that
this is a special breed of person and he or she would not be an Hon Minister who could be removed. If this person comes, he or she would be in office for seven years, unless of course, for reasons that we have stated that could occasion his or her removal. Mr Speaker, we would just want to strengthen the processes that the person would go through to occupy the office - to enable him or her feel independent in his or her day-to-day operations. Mr Speaker, I would want to urge Hon Members to support me to let it stand.
I would now listen to the Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I believe we have heard many sides of the argument. Mr Speaker, in Parliament, whenever we come to voting, regardless of the issue at stake, we have always gone by a majority of the membership that is required to take a decision. Mr Speaker, in this particular case, we would want to raise the bar a bit higher, given the fact that we expect some non- partisanship. We expect some consen- suality to evolve around that personality and that is why we would want to raise the bar to say that the approval should involve a majority of all the Hon Members of Parliament.
Hon Members, please, there is too much noise in the Chamber. The Majority side is leading in the volume of noise that I hear. Your Hon Leader is on the floor, so kindly give him audience.
Mr Speaker, for those of them who said that we should raise the number to two-thirds, in the Constitution, where two-thirds is required, if the number is not attained, the status quo would remain. If we come to consider the application of the two-third rule, for instance, to the election of District Chief Executives, where there is a failure, there is an arrangement to ensure that the system would work. In this case, maybe, the Hon Regional Minister or whoever would be asked to manage the situation. Mr Speaker, if we raise the bar to two- thirds and we are not able to attain it, what would happen? Would it then mean that the office would remain unoccupied, for which reason it would mean that we would render dysfunctional what we have created? Mr Speaker, I do not get it. We should be careful where we would want to go. In my view, we should restrict ourselves to that higher level that we have gotten to. Mr Speaker, we know that, in this House, if it relates to matters of policy, it would be very difficult to get the two- thirds, and by that, it would render the Office that we are creating dysfunctional, and I am not sure that there would be any rationality in that -- to create the office and not be able to fill it, and in which case we would not be able to operationalise it would not be a good venture on our part.
Yes, Hon Second Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, I took the earlier position because, the Office of the Special Prosecutor is a creation of statute; it is not constitutional. We are not equating that Office to that of an Hon Minister of State. Mr Speaker, my earlier submission was that, it would be subordinate to the equation of an Hon Minister of State. By even that higher position, we do not demand two-thirds prior approval of Parliament. Mr Speaker, it would take some time for us to appreciate that one could be partisan, yet impartial in the performance of his or her duties. It would take some time for Ghanaians to appreciate that. Mr Speaker, we have been given finality of the authority to make law. So, the process is to open up for the public to participate and that was why the stakeholders came in to give their inputs, but at the end of the day, it is this House that would be held responsible for whatever we would pass. Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing that as far back as the 1940's, our illustrious Mr J. B. Danquah stated that, he was for the supremacy of the rule of law and not the supremacy of Parliament. This Parliament is not supreme. It was from such statements that made this Parliament unlike that of the British Parliament which is sovereign and can do whatever it wants, but here, it is the rule of law. The law says that, we cannot do what we are proposing to do. It is the rule of law. The person that would give the authority to this Special Prosecutor, is approved by a prior majority. We would want to create this delegated authority which would require higher degree approval and that definitely is irregular. Mr Speaker, yes, just to give some degree of satisfaction to all of us, we could agree to the majority. But I would have preferred the words “prior approval”, but because of these doubts and skepticism, we could agree to the proposal in the Bill, but not worsen it. Mr Speaker, whatever we do, at the end of the day, if the democratic culture is still that weak, people would still doubt the impartiality of the office holder, and the office that we are creating is part of the Public Service -- He is a Public Servant, so I do not know why we want to give some mystical concept which would just only be in our minds but not in practice. There is no way we can implement that. I think we should accept what is in the Bill and I urge all Hon Members to support that.
Hon Members, we have had enough debate on this matter. I will now put the Question — [Interruptions.] Question put and amendment negatived
Hon Members, there is another amendment on clause 12 subclause (3) which stands in the name of the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, clause 12 -- subclause (3), delete Mr Speaker, the rationale is that, it is unnecessary for us to legislate to the effect that the power of the President to appoint should be conveyed to the Office of the Attorney-General. We do not have to do that —
Why do we not have to do that?
Mr Speaker, we are saying that the Constitution empowers the President to make such appointments, so we cannot sit here and legislate — it is already provided, so it is unnecessary for us to csit here and do so.
You have now provided a justification. Hon Chairman, I want to hear you. The proposal is that, this subclause (3) of clause 12 is already covered by the Constitution, and the President, by the Constitution is empowered to delegate his powers to any of his Ministers, so we do not need to legislate for that again.
Mr Speaker, I am happy that this provision is not inconsistent with the Constitution. And to that extent, I do not think it would make any difference if we leave the provision as it is. Once it is emanating from the Constitution, there is nothing wrong with it if we leave it as it is. It is not anything novel. It is in tandem with the Constitution and we wanted — Mr Speaker, once it is in consonance with the Constitution, we believe that we should leave it as it is. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu — rose —
Let me listen to Hon Yieleh Chireh before I come to you.
Mr Speaker, I was actually advising the one who moved this amendment that he should abandon it. This is because, that is the actual wording in the Constitution. Where the President is to delegate, it must be in writing. So we are just emphasising what is in the Constitution. There is no reason we should delete it. In any case, it is not eating grass here if it remains — [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I agree with my Hon Colleague that it is constitutional. The President has the authority and mandate to delegate as expressed in article 195(2). But this is for the avoidance of doubt. Mr Speaker, secondly, I would rather propose — Indeed, the Chairman, in item numbered (xlviii) rather proposes that we delete the words “and Minister for Justice”. This is because the power is emanating from the Attorney-General. That is the distinction that I sought to establish early on that, the authority is from the Attorney-General and not from the Minister. But we have interpreted “Minister” to mean the Attorney-General which is not right in the first place. Mr Speaker, but I would agree with the Hon Chairman, that we should rather delete those words, “Minister for Justice”. This is because this whole delegation is at the instance of the Attorney-General and not the Minister for Justice. Question put and amendment negatived.
Hon Chairman, I think we are now on item numbered xlvii —
Mr Speaker, respectfully, you have not pronounced the verdict of the voting on the amendment in the name of Hon Haruna Iddrisu.
That is what has been voted upon.
Yes, but you did not pronounce the verdict. It was lost.
I did. I pronounced that the “Noes” have it and the amendment is defeated.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that clause 12 -- add the following new subclause “(3) In addition to the requirements specified in subsection (1), the Special Prosecutor shall (a) possess the relevant expertise on corruption and corruption related matters; (b) be of high moral character and proven integrity; (c) be a lawyer of at least twelve years standing at the Bar; and
I want to be clear — This is subclause (3). There is existing subclause (3). Hon Chairman, please, pay attention here. Would it be subclause (3) (1) or it is just continuing from “the President may delegate…”
Mr Speaker, we had this amendment, what is captured as clause 12, subclause (2), on page 11, which we said, by the rearrangement, would be the new clause 12, subclause (2). So, this just follows after that in addition to what publication that has been listed in clause 12 subclause (2). This follows after that as a new —
That will be before the clause 12 (3) in the Bill?
Mr Speaker, absolutely.
Very well. So, in that case, I direct that the draftsperson takes notice of this to renumber sequentially to capture the new insertions. Hon Chairman of the Committee, you may now move the amendment; I was not clear and asked you to hold on because of the numbering, so please move it again so that we would be clear on what we are voting on.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, add the following new sub- clause: “(3) In addition to the requirements specified in subsection (1), the Special Prosecutor shall (a) possess the relevant expertise on corruption and corruption related matters; (b) be of high moral character and proven integrity; (c) be a lawyer of at least twelve years standing at the Bar; and (d) be non-partisan.”
Mr Speaker, I just would want to know from the Hon Chairman of the Committee if he would not mind a further amendment. Instead of saying a person should be “non- partisan”, we rather say that the person should be “impartial”. Mr Speaker, I say so because in this very House, when the Rt. Hon Peter Ala Adjetey was being made the Speaker of the House, then Hon Minority Leader, Hon Alban S. K. Bagbin suggested to the then Rt. Hon Peter Ala Adjetey, that ‘he had been the Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and he knew that he was very partisan and that he could not be neutral but yet, he would observe him very closely'. Mr Speaker, the words of Rt. Hon Peter Ala Adjetey at that time was that, ‘yes, I agree that I have ever been the Chairman of the NPP for which I have no regrets for which reason I cannot be neutral, I cannot be non-partisan but I would be impartial and that is all that is required of me'. Mr Speaker, four years after, Hon Bagbin was chasing after the Rt. Hon Peter Ala Adjetey to be allowed to continue as the Speaker. [Laughter.] So, I believe that in the circumstance, perhaps the word “impartial” may serve a better purpose than to say that the person should be “non-partisan”. This is because, as the Hon Chireh said he has the courage the Electoral Commissioner herself is voting and to the extent that she would vote for a particular political party, that person could be considered as partisan. All that is required of her in the performance of her duties is impartiality. Mr Speaker, so, I would just want to suggest this to the Hon Chairman of the Committee, that I believe “impartial” in the circumstance is a better terminology than just saying that the person should “be non-partisan”.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker, I believe you would want to comment on this one.
“possess the relevant expertise on corruption and corruption related matters;”
Did you say there is an amendment?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Alright, I would then support your amendment in that respect but I would not want us to say ‘shall be impartial'. The Constitution rather uses a different term when talking about the Civil Service and other bodies not participating in politics. [Interruption.] [Pause.] Mr Speaker, I would just look for it and take my next turn. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I am of the opinion that clause 12 (3) (d) as captured in the amendment should be removed entirely from the amendment on the basis that the person who may be appointed may have belonged to one political party or the other. Concerning the issue of impartiality, that may be made known in the performance of his duty. So, I would rather move that the whole of subclause (d) be deleted from the amendment. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, this is for our guidance. I believe that the Hon Majority Leader has moved a Motion on the non- partisan issue. I believe that if we could exhaust that so that if another person has another thing, we could then take it so that we are orderly with what we do. Otherwise, when somebody gets up and we lose what his argument is and we are arguing about subclause (b) or (c) or (d), we would not make progress.
The last person contributed on the same subclause (b) that instead of amending it into “impartial”, we should remove it altogether. So, it is the same issue that we are discussing. But we still have to determine whether we would change the “non-partisan” to “impartial”.
Mr Speaker, I withdrew an amendment in respect of this when it was completely taken out. Mr Speaker, my proposed amendment is in respect of clause 12 (3) (a) and that is --
Hon Member, if you may, let us conclude on the amendment pending. The amendment pending is that we change “non-partisan” in subclause (d) to “impartial”. We can come back to that when we are done with that. Hon Members, should I put the question now? Or because one of the institutional memories is looking for a more appropriate word, we should stand that down and compare what the Hon Majority Leader proposes with what the Hon Second Deputy Speaker may come up with? Hon Majority Leader, what do you suggest -- let me be guided. The Hon Second Deputy Speaker says he would want to propose another term or word.
Mr Speaker, I believe the “impartial” in the circumstance would fit the Bill. This is because we want somebody who can demonstrate impartiality who has demonstrable impartiality. As for the ‘partisanship' or “non- partisanship”, it would be very difficult. This one says that: “In addition…” it is not performance but a qualification
because we are dealing with the qualification criteria and we are only adding this portion.
Hon Yieleh Chireh, after your contribution, I would put the Question.
Mr Speaker, I believe that we should not accept his amendment because the “impartiality” as the Hon Second Deputy Speaker said is in the performance of the duty; that is the actual work. With this, we would want to know that this person has not played any active politics or is not “partisan”. “Partisan” in the sense of what the Constitution has provided in the case of chiefs is that they should not be involved in active party politics. Similarly, public officials are not to be seen at party rallies with t-shirts and all that because we do not want them to be involved actively. So, that involves “non- partisanship”. Mr Speaker, it is better when the person is selected based on -- in fact, there could even be one who is “non-partisan” but when we appoint him, his impartiality would be doubted but impartiality is only in the performance of one's duty. We cannot pre-judge that but we can know those who have played active politics or not. So, his amendment should be rejected and the original proposed by the Hon Chairman accepted.
Mr Speaker, just a minor addition and I would rest my case. In this very House, we belong to various political parties, but it is possible to have some Hon Members in this House who demonstrate impartiality when it comes to weighing issues in this House. It is possible. Even though we have mounted political party platforms, but I would leave it at that.
Mr Speaker, I want to plead with the House for us to flag this. This is because if this is additional qualifications, then they should come under “Qualifications” but this is “requirements”. It says: “In addition to the requirements specified in subsection (1), the Special Prosecutor shall a) possess…” Please, I want us to flag it and look at it again. It is qualifications and we are talking about impartiality. How do we determine that this person is impartial as part of the qualifications? No, the person has not taken office yet. [Interruption.] Performance of the person prior to his being appointed? No, it is not the Attorney-General, we are talking about somebody to be appointed as the Special Prosecutor, the person is in his private life and so, how do we determine that that person in his private life, is impartial? It is not possible. Yes, at least, we should look at it again. It is when one is in office and is not performing the duties that people can assess one's performance and say that one is partial or not. But the person has not been appointed nor taken office yet [Interruption] -- That is true and that could be a requirement for disqualification or removal. That one, yes, but not --
Hon Majority Leader, what is going on, clearly demonstrates that we want to discuss this point further. Hon Chairman, would you agree to the proposal that we defer a decision on this one and consult further?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, I would wish that this provision be flagged down because of the ensuing debate.
Hon Chairman, let us move to the next one.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (3), line 2, delete “and Minister for Justice”. So that subclause 3 reads: “The President may delegate the power of appointment of the Special Prosecutor in writing to the Attorney-General.” Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (4), line 3, after “years” add “and the Special Prosecutor shall not be deemed to be a holder of an office specified in article 71 of the Constitution”. So that subclause 4 reads: “The Special Prosecutor shall hold office on the same terms and conditions of service as a Justice of the Court of Appeal except that the tenure of Office shall be a non- renewable tenure of seven years and the Special Prosecutor shall not be deemed to be a holder of an office specified in article 71 of the Constitution”.
Hon Chairman, can we not put this as a separate subclause rather than adding it to this one? It would become obscure. We can probably insert it as a new subclause (5) and push the others down. What do you think?
Mr Speaker, whether it is a continuation of this or it is made a separate subclause, I believe that that would not make a difference. So, we may take a cue from your Speakership and make this one as a separate subclause. Mr Speaker, I beg to move that there should be an addition of a new paragraph or insertion of a new paragraph or sub clause. Which should read: “The Special Prosecutor shall not be deemed to be a holder of an office specified in article 71 of the Constitution” Mr Speaker, the reason is that article 71 office holders are listed in article 71 and we cannot deduct because it is a constitutional injunction. But at times an argument may be made by a certain school of thought that, to the extent this office is being made analogous to the office of a Judge of the Court of Appeal, then the presumption may be that the occupant of this office is also entitled to the conditions of service as stipulated under article 71 of the Constitution. In order to make assurance, be double sure, clear all doubts and bring certainty and clarity to this provision, we are only saying that despite the fact that this office is being made analogous to the office of an Court of Appeal Judge, the occupant of this office is not entitled to the conditions of service as stipulated under article 71 of the Constitution. Mr Speaker, this is all that we are seeking to convey.
Hon Chairman, I know where you are coming from -- because of the challenges that we have now with some of the analogous arrangements. This House has practically made some non-constitutional bodies to enjoy the conditions of service of article 71 office holders by law rather than by amendment of the Constitution. My worry is that, if you make the position analogous to the Court of Appeal Judge, then what conditions of service are you then giving to the person?
Mr Speaker, once it is a public office and the Special Prosecutor would be appointed by the President, we believe that, the conditions of service of the Special Prosecutor would be stipulated in his or her appointment letter.
In the same office, you have linked the Chief State Attorney to an analogous rank in the Judiciary and you have also linked the Principal. The Senior State Attorneys are then saying that, below these, they also have analogous relationships and so pay them the same as you pay the others. That has become a challenge, and so we would add to the challenge and say that the Principal State Attorney is equal to this and the Chief State Attorney is equal to that but this one does not belong anywhere. I think that we would have a problem. So, I would suggest that we should look very seriously at that clause and, generally, the conditions of service that we want the Special Prosecutor to enjoy.
Mr Speaker, just to support your position, the Hon Chairman is saying that the Special Prosecutor should not enjoy the benefits of article 71 office holders, but if we go to clause 14 on the removal of the Special Prosecutor, the Hon Chairman wants to subject him to the same procedures set out under article 146 for the removal of superior court Justices. Mr Speaker, he is not being fair to such a person who is being appointed to such a high position. So, I believe that the Hon Chairman must have a relook at it. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Mr Speaker, I think that the idea of the Special Prosecutor not being under article 71 is not right. He must be. They are only two; himself and the deputy. So, adding them to the cake would not overburden the purse of Ghana. Secondly, we are asking the man to serve seven years and then he cannot hold office again. So, are we going to make the conditions far better than the judges and the people who stay there for long until they reach their retirement? Then I think that we should not introduce it at all. He is an article 71 office holder. Who are the officers under article 71? They are those in the Executive and the person is performing a function very close to a Judge of the High Court or a Prosecutor. So, I believe that we should not even introduce this one at all.
Hon Anyimadu-Antwi, then, the Hon Second Deputy Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I am of the view that, in view of the fact that the holders of offices under article 71 are listed, if we should create this Office to be analogous to the Office of a Court of Appeal Judge, then we would be indirectly amending the Constitution by this clause. I would want to remind ourselves that we have spelt out that, the person must be in 12 years standing at the Bar, which in itself suggests that, the position is analogous to a Justice of the Court of Appeal -- So, I would urge my Hon Friend to actually do away with clause 12 (4) and the new proposal that he seeks to bring up by way of amendment. This is because all that he is trying to do is to make sure that we distinguish this office holder by saying that he is analogous to the Court of Appeal Judge but already, the 12 years' experience at the Bar is there. So, for me, this also shows and there we must do away with subclause (4) entirely.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, there are some provisions here that deal with security of tenure and that is why they sometimes refer to provisions in the Constitution that deal with the Court of Appeal Judges. There are some provisions that deal with qualification and those are the ones that deal with the 12 years' experience at the Bar. There are some provisions that try to deal with zero tolerance for corruption, and therefore, try to make the position very attractive so that when you are there, then you are a holder and not someone to be bribed. That is why it looks at the conditions of service. Mr Speaker, I think that the framers of the Constitution did the same to the position of Presidents and that is why Presidents are said not to hold any office of profit even after leaving office and the State is to take control of their conditions of living; getting residential premises and office for them, staff, some logistics including vehicles and so on. Mr Speaker, but I do not think the perception in Ghana is that our Presidents are above Pompey's wife. So, we have to be careful in dealing with this provision. I would have preferred that since it would be a public office, from the experience that we have cited, we should leave the conditions of service to the appointing authority. It would be clearly stated in the Instrument or letter of appointment. In that case, for the Public Service, it would be a letter of appointment. It is not a political office or any high constitutional body. That would be a letter of appointment and not an instrument of appointment. So, the appointing authority would state the conditions. Immediately we equate that position to that of the Court of Appeal, those working with the Special Prosecutor, including the attorneys, would also agitate. This is because if it is qualifications, they have the analogous position in the Judiciary.
So, a person with 12 year's experience comes and he is given these conditions. They work, there, but they have not been given any. They would not give their full and total commitment to the work. They are to support the Special Prosecutor. The Special Prosecutor alone cannot do it. I would propose that we delete that subclause, and allow the appointing authority to state the conditions of service. Then, we would not have issues of analogy, and the continuous enjoyment of some conditions and all those things after the seven years. I think we should leave that one out to the appointing authority. He is a public office holder; why equate that to a judge of the Court of Appeal? I think that would create some problems.
Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, the only reason we proffered this amendment was because of the experience at the Office of the Attorney-General where State Attorneys, because they hold analogous positions, have always clamoured for an adjustment in their conditions of service when article 71 office holders are affected. Mr Speaker, however, upon looking at the amendment, which we did for the abundance of caution, we ought not to bring it at all because we are not deleting clause 4. We just added it to clause 4 for the abundance of caution. Clause 4 actually deals with equating the conditions of service of the Special Prosecutor to that of a judge of the Court of Appeal, and says that because he would occupy the office for only seven years -- that part is accepted for the conditions of service of the Court of Appeal judge. I think that the law provides for the conditions of service, and the Court of Appeal judge enjoys his conditions of service under article 71. It is very clear. Article 71 has only three provisions; it says that their expenditure shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund, determined by the President on the recommendation of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by the President who acts on the advice of the Council of State. His allowances, facilities, privileges and retiring benefits would be calculated just like it is calculated for the judges. He would not retire on his salary. That is said here, except that we just wanted to swerve the tide of those below the Special Prosecutor and the Deputy Special Prosecutor from agitating, in order to make it clear. If it creates confusion, I suggest that the Hon Chairman should let us drop the amendment and just leave it the way it is.
Yes, Hon Member for Okaikoi Central?
Mr Speaker, we are creating an office for somebody who would run after people to collect huge sums of money; to perform a serious task that includes seizure of tainted property. There are elements of tracing and freezing of assets, and an Asset Management Division to be set up under the office.
Hon Chairman, if we drop this, ‘except that he shall not be considered as an article 71 office holder', would that make any difference? This is because, we are saying he should enjoy the conditions of service of a Court of Appeal judge. We would leave it there. Whether the appointing authority would consider him or her as an article 71 office holder, it is none of our business. We are saying that we would want whoever they appoint to be treated the same way and given the same facilities and conditions of service as a Court of Appeal judge. For me, probably, if we left it there, we would save ourselves the trouble of having to deal with a constitutional amendment or an implied constitutional amendment, additions and so on.
Mr Speaker, much has been said, and I have heard a lot. In view of the intimation from your goodself and, of course, some Hon Members of this House, I would respectfully drop the amendment and leave the provision as it is.
Very well. Hon Second Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, experience has shown that, the Committee on Emolument tries as much as possible to go through the legislation and capture each and every one that is mentioned to enjoy the conditions under article 71 in their report. My fear is that they may capture Special Prosecutor at one portion of the report, and put the same conditions of service. So, I think the amendment tried to draw the attention of the Committee and everybody to the fact that the office holder does not qualify to come under the category of persons under article 71. That was why I urged that we should not even talk about his enjoyment of the same conditions of service as that of the Court of Appeal judge, but we should allow the appointing authority “the appointing authority would take what the Hon Member for Okaikoi Central has just stated to make the position attractive enough. It should also be sufficient for the person not to look without for additional resources to support his life, and should, after office, still stay along that line so that the person could have the peace of mind to fight corruption. Even though I know that it is not the best instrument to fight corruption, it would add to what we already have. So, I believe we should look at that proposed amendment. Mr Speaker, that proposed amendment removes the office holder from being added to those specified under article 71(1). So, I would want the amendment --
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I believe the question to ask ourselves is what we would want. We would want to guarantee the security of tenure to the office bearer, and that is the first one. Mr Speaker, the second one is also to sufficiently remunerate him and guarantee his existence, even after office, such that he would not be attracted to the evils otherwise associated with the Office. Mr Speaker, it is the reason -- [Laughter] -- they are “Eve-like” attractions. If we would want to call them ‘attractions', then they are Eve-like. Mr Speaker, therefore we should determine what we want. We would want to insulate that Office from temptations, which is why we are equating that Office to that of an Appeal Court Justice. Mr Speaker, is it the case that we are only referring to the levels of remunerations? If it is the case that we refer to the levels of remunerations that the person may enjoy in the seven-year tenure, then of course, that amendment would be necessary; but if it does not refer to remunerations alone, but to the terms, which I believe are what we are referring to, then certainly, that additional amendment would not be necessary. This is so that he has security of tenure, and he knows that even when he leaves office, he would be guaranteed some remunerations, so he would not allow himself or herself to be tainted by corruption. Mr Speaker, therefore, for that reason and for that reason alone, I would urge that the Hon Chairman drops that second leg, then we would confine ourselves to just what is in the Bill.
The Hon Chairman has already withdrawn the proposed amendment.
Mr Speaker, I have already withdrawn the amendment, so the --
The records shall reflect that the amendment is withdrawn. Hon Members, clause 12 (l).
Hon Chairman, it is also your amendment.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (5), delete. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, item number 7(li), by the Hon Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (8), line 3, delete “act in that position for a period of not more than six months” and insert “that position within ninety days”. Mr Speaker, the rationale is that we have provided under the functions of the Deputy Special Prosecutor that he would act in the absence of the Special Prosecutor -- he would act in his stead. Therefore, with that provision, there is no need for the President to then appoint somebody to act in the absence of the substantive officer until such a person is appointed. Mr Speaker, therefore, the new proposal is to the effect that where the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the President shall appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor to that position within 90 days. So that within 90 days, upon the declaration of vacancy of that position, or the processes -- nomination by the Attorney-General, and all the processes through which he would go during the time he comes here for vetting, would have been completed for a replacement. Within that 90 days, the Deputy Special Prosecutor would act. So, we believe that it is not necessary for us to say that “to act in that position for a period of not more than six months”. Mr Speaker, humbly submitted.
Yes, the Hon Member for Okaikoi Central?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am not too clear in my mind, as to what my Hon Colleague is trying to urge on this House. Mr Speaker, a position becomes vacant -- the Hon Member said that we should look at the functions of the Deputy Special Prosecutor, and he mentioned the fact that the Deputy Special Prosecutor shall act in the absence of the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, acting in somebody's absence is different from a position becoming vacant; they are two different things. So I would want to understand exactly what the Hon Member wants to urge on this House.
Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, Hon Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor is trying to prevent a situation where the position becomes vacant, somebody is appointed into an acting position -- this is a very serious office -- and because the person may be waiting for the confirmation of his appointment, he may do funny things. We would want to limit the power of the President to 90 days so that immediately it becomes vacant, processes are initiated to get a replacement. So we would want to cut off people being in office and acting funny because they would want a confirmation in that office. That is why we are saying that -- Mr Speaker, the Committee actually agrees, and we can see that the Hon Chairman's amendment is in tandem with what Hon Dafeamekpor — [Interruption.] -- We are saying that where the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the Deputy Special Prosecutor shall act as the Special Prosecutor for a period not more than 90 days. That is all we are saying.
Mr Speaker, when we read the original provision, it says:
Mr Speaker, if I may clarify—
Reading the two amendments, they are practically trying to achieve the same thing, except that the Hon Chairman's amendment gives us a definite person who would act; the Deputy would act for a period not exceeding 90 days. In Hon Dafeamekpor's amendment, he leaves it to the President to appoint somebody to act for a period not exceeding 90 days. The difference is whether there is an automatic acting person or the person is to be appointed by the President. So, I believe those two amendments could be reconciled.
Mr Speaker, with all due respect, the Committee's proposal is to the effect that, when the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the Deputy Special Prosecutor shall act as the Special Prosecutor for a period of not more than 90 days. I have agreed.
That is not what your amendment says.
That is what I am saying.
Hon Member, that was probably, what was in your mind; but what you have put on paper is practically the same as what the Committee has proposed.
Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.] -- Clause 12(8) says: “Where the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the President shall appoint a person qualified for appointment as a Special Prosecutor to act in that position for a period of not more than six months”. This means that in the event that the position is declared vacant, an acting person is appointed before the appointment of the Substantive Special Prosecutor. We would want to avoid that because the Committee says the Deputy Special Prosecutor already has the ability to act. We do not need to appoint an acting person before a substantive one is appointed. This is the difference.
What are you saying in your amendment?
Mr Speaker, by my amendment, we are giving the President the opportunity to conclude the processes leading to the appointment of the substantive Special Prosecutor also within the same 90 days, beyond which the Deputy can no longer act. By the Committee's proposal, within ninety days —
Hon Member, that is not true. Speak to your filed amendment. That is not what you have stated. It is an intention you are now evincing. By what is contained in your amendment, if you read from “where the position”, “the President shall appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor to act…” so, your amendment starts from that position. So, it would still be acting within 90 days.
No, Mr Speaker, my amendment deletes “to act…”
It does not.
Mr Speaker, my amendment takes away ‘act' -- [Interruption] -- as Special Prosecutor to that position within 90 days.
Yes, it is true because it says, “delete act in that position”. So, he is actually saying the person acting should not be there, but we should appoint a replacement within 90 days.
This is the difference. Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, if we look ahead to see that of the Deputy Prosecutor, it says that, in the absence of the Special Prosecutor, he will act. Absence is completely different from vacancy. Also, the two things that we are talking about, they are in the processes. If we look at the Public Service, one is not to act for more than six months. So, that is also consistent. If we also look at the fact that Parliament is involved in this, and it depends on when the vacancy occurs, it is important that we leave it as “six months” for whoever and not to reduce the period. This is because, if we reduce the period and Parliament is on recess, what would we do? We cannot do what you are talking about. So, I think we should stick to the “six months” because we do not want the period to be exceeded. Mr Speaker, the other issue of whether we now want the Deputy Special Prosecutor to act when the vacancy exists, is a completely different matter which we can look at.
Please, first, let us determine the proposed amendment by the Hon Member for South Dayi. His argument is that, there should be no acting; within 90 days, appoint the substantive one. That is different from the Committee's proposal. So, let us consider his own before we get to the proposal. Yes, Hon Second Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, I think his proposal is not practicable because of the process as stated by Hon Yieleh Chireh. The process takes time, and it also depends on the time the position becomes vacant. If at that time Parliament is not in session, then it would mean that we would have to recall Parliament just for only that one issue. That is not prudent management. Mr Speaker, it would also take time for the Attorney-General to do a search to look for somebody who qualifies within the provisions of this law and the Constitution to occupy that position. So, 90 days is really so limited. We cannot do all these within 90 days, which is three months. So, I also agree with Hon Yieleh Chireh that the six months should be adequate. We are saying the person should act because the President cannot appoint a substantive without going through the process. That is why the person is being called upon to act. So, the person can only act within six months, but then we should have gone through the process for the President to appoint a substantive person into that office. So, I support the provision as it is. I neither support the proposal that Hon Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor is making, nor that or of the Committee. there is also a danger. If the Deputy Special Prosecutor is acting as a Special Prosecutor, but he or she is not appointed by the President as substantive and a new person is appointed — human nature, there is bound to — Mr Speaker, it happens in practical life. [Interruption.] We are dealing with a technical position, but he is talking about a political position. They are different. Deputy Ministerial and Ministerial positions are political, but we are dealing with technical expertise. That is constitutional and not legislative.
All right. I would give you right of reply, and then I would put the Question.
Mr Speaker, I would take a cue and propose a further amendment to change “90 days” to “six months”. [Interruption.] I am taking
In the interim, what should happen?
I am in support of the Deputy acting.
So, in actual fact, the two could be put together. Once you agree on the Deputy acting and six months within the period, we could take the two together and achieve the same results.
Mr Speaker, in clause 16, the Committee proposed that a new clause be inserted as follows: “(3) The Deputy Special Prosecutor shall perform such other functions that may be assigned by the Special Prosecutor. (4) The Deputy Special Prosecutor shall act in the absence of the Special Prosecutor.” So, we have a similar construction. As to whether we should add “vacancy” is another matter. That could be captured there. When we came to clause 12, we dealt with where there was a vacancy. If we improve clause 16 (2), then in the absence of the Special Prosecutor or where there is a vacancy, automatically, he fills it. All that clause 12 (8) says is that his acting status, where there is a vacancy, should not go beyond six months. So, within six months, the President shall appoint a substantive Special Prosecutor. That is all that they are saying. That is why I am not too sure that the two constructions-- Of course, Hon Rockson E. K. Dafeamekpor has now withdrawn his own amendment. Is that correct? -- [Interruption.] “It is not beyond that. I think that we could still further amend it by, for instance, saying: “Where the office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the President shall within six months after the vacancy occurs, appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor.” Mr Speaker, if we left it like that, then in clause 16 (2), we shall have that improvement, and then we would be home and dry. I think that is the way to go.
Hon Chairman, I am looking at how to reconcile these two amendments, which seek the same thing. His amendment did not take care of what happens in the interim, and your amendment did not give any responsibility to the President to appoint within the six months. If we put the two together, we could achieve the same thing. I think that we should reconcile the two amendments to achieve what we want; “the President shall appoint a replacement within six months”. Within that six-month period, the Deputy would act. That is what we want to achieve.
Mr Speaker, if I may help. As I said, that one would go to where we have the provision for the Deputy in clause 16. That is where we would add “vacancy” to “absence”. Here, for clause 12 (8), I would propose: “Where the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the President shall within six months after the vacancy occurs, appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor…”
Mr Speaker, I agree entirely with the Hon Majority Leader. However, for the avoidance of doubt, we should say “appoint the Special Prosecutor with the prior approval of Parliament”. [Interruption] -- He appointed a new person?
The procedure is provided for.
Yes, we are appointing a new person, so, it should be with the prior approval of Parliament. We should insist.
Hon Majority Leader, kindly repeat the proposed amendment, so that I would put the Question on it.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12 (8), line 2, after “shall”, insert “within six months after the vacancy occurs”. The entire subclause (8) cannot be allowed to remain because we do not want the President to appoint somebody to act when we have said that the Deputy should now act. That was why I made the proposal that: “Where the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the President shall within six months after the vacancy occurs, appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor.” Then we end there.
Can we not just say “appoint a replacement”?
Mr Speaker, the person comes with qualifications.
The procedure and qualifications are provided for --
They become same. “Within six months after the vacancy occurs, appoint a person as Special Prosecutor”, if you like.
Mr Speaker, I think that subclause (8), as captured, is adequate for the purpose for which we want to do this. If we look at clause 16, which talks about the Deputy Prosecutor, we would have a situation that says that in the absence of the Special Prosecutor, he should act. He proposed we move the amendment here to “vacancy”. If we are to do that, we do not need to talk about it. We should take it as it was drafted. This is because if we want to change -- What we are doing is that, we are changing the positon of the words. This is because within, it says that one cannot act for more than six months.
I think that the current rendition is enough. We have captured the essence of the Bill. Whether we allocate a period or not, no matter how long somebody may have to act. Whether that person should be appointed by the President internally -- there should be somebody in case of a vacancy who must act. Even for a few days, still somebody must act to hold the office.
Hon Member for Atwima Kwanwoma, there is no disagreement on that. Even with that I do not believe there is a disagreement.
Mr Speaker, but --
Hon Member, kindly resume your seat and listen to me. The original rendition was that the President must appoint somebody who qualifies to be a Special Prosecutor to act and we said no, the Deputy should act. So, that original rendition cannot stand as was proposed by Hon Yieleh Chireh. It has to be amended to reflect that, we would want the Deputy to act, but he or she should not act beyond six months and within that six months period, the President would have taken the necessary steps to appoint a new person. This is what we would want to capture in essence, so we do not need to know whether somebody -- We know the person has to act, and for how long he or she would act and then we would want the President to appoint a replacement in six months.
Mr Speaker, in my opinion, in the second rendition where the Deputy is supposed to act, it does not preclude the President to appoint another person to act after the ninety days . [Interruption] -- They should read it careful. It says: “shall act as Special Prosecutor for a period of not more than ninety days” .
Mr Speaker, what would happen after the ninety days?
Hon Member, we have dropped the “ninety days”. We are talking about six months for the period, and we would want to ask the President to appoint a replacement within the six months period. Hon Members, if we cannot agree on the rendition, I would --
Hon Ranking Member of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I have tried to offer an amendment that might sit in with what we have said. Mr Speaker, in clause 12, subclause (8), line 3, we should delete the words “act in” and also delete the phrase “for a period of not more than”. Mr Speaker, we could delete the entire phrase “up to six months” and substitute it with “within six months”. So, the new rendition would be: “Where the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the President shall appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor to that position within six months”.
Hon Members, that is the new rendition. Hon Chairman of the Committee, are you agreeable to it?
Mr Speaker, to the extent that it captures the period within which the President must do the new appointment and on the occurrence of the vacancy, the Deputy Special Prosecutor must also act in the interim. If it captures the two, then I agree to the proposed amendment.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, what the Hon Member proposed captures only the first part, that the President must appoint a replacement within six months, but the Hon Majority Leader had proposed that when we get to clause 16 we would give the acting position to the Deputy Special Prosecutor.
Mr Speaker, we did not get it.
Hon Member, kindly repeat it so that we would take a decision on that.
Mr Speaker, what I said was that, we should delete the word “acting” and insert the words “act in”. So, the new rendition would be: “Where the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the President shall within six months appoint a person qualified for appointment as a Special Prosecutor to that position”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, in that case, your proposed amendment to clause 12 (8) would no longer be necessary.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, add the following new sub- clause: “(9) For purposes of subsection (8), vacancy includes resignation, death or vacation of post.”
It does not sound correct when we say -- “a vacancy includes...” Is it correct? We may say, “a vacancy occurs upon death, resignation or vacation of post”. A vacancy would occur when any of these things have happened whether the occupant has died, resigned or vacated his or her post, but the vacancy cannot include them.
Mr Speaker, so, “vacancy” is not limited only to, a person who would vacate his or her post for a stated period which could be one. It includes resignation, death and if we like removal. Mr Speaker, I believe that it is in order. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Hon Members, I cannot put the Question on the entire clause 12 because we have deferred the decision in respect of one of the subclauses. Hon Chairman is that right?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
We deferred decision on the new subclause (3), so, I cannot put the Question on the entire clause 12.
Mr Speaker, I would want to propose -- because this one is supposed to be part of what we did and we could only add to the qualification criterion. Mr Speaker, we can then delete the ‘non-partisanship' or ‘impartiality' and include what we did in clause 12 (2) in page 12, as follows: (a) “possess the relevant expertise on corruption and corruption- related matters; (b) be of high moral character and proven integrity; (c) be a lawyer of at least twelve years standing at the Bar; and” — And delete the ‘non-partisanship'. This is because the others would qualify to be “qualification criteria”.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, the proposed amendment would be moved minus (d). It would end at (c). Very well.
Mr Speaker, I have an amendment in respect of clause 12, subclause (3), paragraph (a), but because it was stood down, I also had to defer it. My reason is that, with that criterion, there is no way of determining who has expertise in corruption and so it is not necessary, it should be deleted.
Hon Member, move your Motion and let us continue.
Mr Speaker, there is already an amendment on the floor, that we delete “be non-partisan”. Mr Speaker, respectfully, we have to take a vote on that and we can then come to this.
Sorry. Hon Members, let us take the vote on the removal of clause 12, subclause (3), paragraph (d) and we would then come to any further proposal we would make on that. The Hon Chairman would move the new amendment as contained in item numbered (xlvii) minus (d).
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12, subclause (3), paragraph (d), delete. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, may I further propose that the clause 12, subclause (3), paragraph (a) be deleted. The rationale is that, that particular criterion is nebulous. It is difficult to determine. How can we determine who has expertise in corruption and corruption - related matters? I think that we must not legislate over that. It is subjective — It is difficult to determine, and somebody can actually contest that there was no way of determining that, therefore he or she was unfairly disqualified. It is not necessary.
How would we determine that one has expertise in Criminal Law practice? Can we not determine that one has expertise in Criminal Law or Company Law practice?
Mr Speaker, indeed yes. But we cannot determine one's expertise in corruption and corruption- related matters.
Mr Speaker, there is no course like that. We can determine somebody's expertise in criminal law practice by the number of years that he or she has spent and the number of cases that he or she has done.
Do we not invite people to come and address us when we hold anti-corruption seminars, et cetera, even in this House — The Committee on Privileges met about two months ago in Koforidua and we brought people we believe have expertise in corruption and anti-corruption to come and address the House.
Mr Speaker, indeed, some of the people who came were lawyers.
But some were.
But indeed, the lawyer who came is actually a constitutional law expert.
I am talking about the Privileges Committee meeting at Koforidua — The person we invited is not a constitutional law expert. We brought him from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). I am not talking about your Committee. I am talking about the Privileges Committee, which I chair.
Very well. Mr Speaker, I defer. But I insist that, that should be deleted.
Mr Speaker, I urge my Hon Colleague, Mr Dafeamekpor to consider abandoning his proposed amendment. In fact, the crux of what we are doing is to get an experienced person in corruption and corruption-related cases. If he indeed agrees to the fact that we could have someone who has studied criminal law, then it is also possible that we could have a lawyer who would have practiced at the Office of the Attorney- General and had done prosecutions for several years to qualify. I believe this is necessary and we must leave it. So, I would urge my Hon Colleague to consider abandoning this amendment —
Hon Members, I will put the Question.
Mr Speaker, I am not sure how we would get an expert in corruption. Maybe, we should use the word “anti- corruption”. This is because we can have anti-terrorism expert. I believe we should use the word “anti-corruption” rather than “corruption”. This is because it is a bit challenging to have an expert in corruption — [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, it is not a maybe expression. I agree with him. Otherwise, we are looking for experts and specialists in thievery — [Laughter]—
Such persons, we may have to import from our neighbours — [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, it is anti-corruption — people with expertise in anti-corruption.
Hon Chairman, it is your amendment — “anti- corruption” in place of “corruption”. Are you opposed to it or agree to it?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, I believe that if we say that somebody with expertise in corruption and corruption- related matters, what I believe we are saying is that, somebody who is well- versed and has appreciable knowledge in corruption matters.
In what constitute corruption?
Mr Speaker, it is just like saying somebody who is good at criminal matters -- That does not make the person a criminal, except that, the person has knowledge in criminal matters or is a criminal lawyer -- it does not make the person a criminal. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, so, I would want to suggest that we leave it as it is and proceed. Mr Speaker, when we talk about somebody having expertise on “corruption and corruption-related matters”, that is very important. This is because we are dealing with corruption and the person who is to be appointed to the Office must be a person with some amount of knowledge in corruption and corruption -related matters. In certain jurisdictions, a special prosecutor, an independent council or somebody who has been a retired director of public prosecution and is well versed in criminal matters is appointed or a retired judge who is known to be good at criminal matters is appointed; it can also be somebody who is known in private practice to be good. Mr Speaker, so, I would rather suggest to the extent that the person who is to be appointed is coming to deal with a very complex and intricate area which is “corruption and corruption-related matters”, paragraph (a) ought not to be disturbed -- we should leave it as it is. Thank you.
Hon Members, I have heard enough. I would now put the Question. [Interruption.] There is only one amendment we are taking; the only amendment pending is to drop the phrase “corruption and corruption- related matters”. Question put and amendment negatived. Clause 12 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Hon Majority Leader, it is quarter to 9.00 p.m. This is where we would bring proceedings to a close. That brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage now.
Mr Speaker, I had indicated to my Hon Colleagues who joined in the winnowing we did yesterday -- but it is getting too late. So, I do not know whether I could appeal to my Hon Colleagues that we go and at least do one hour as we did yesterday and close at 10.00 p.m. This is because we ended exactly at where we are now and if we do not make any progress, it would be difficult for us to continue tomorrow. Mr Speaker, so, I would appeal to my Hon Colleagues to join me. Thank you.
The House was adjourned at 8.50 p.m. till Thursday, 2nd November, 2017 at 10.00 a.m.