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Feb 1, 2015

Detach AG’s office from ‘political’ Justice Ministry – Alban Bagbin


 

Mr Alban Bagbin, Majority Leader in Parliament, has stated that government needs to consider detaching the Attorney General’s (AG) Department from the Ministry of Justice in order to reduce interference from the government in the work of the AG.

According to him, a move to separate the Department from the Justice ministry which he described as a “political position”, will ensure more efficiency in the delivery of justice in the country.

Mr Bagbin made the observation when he delivered a public lecture on the theme: “Corruption and National Development,” on Thursday, January 29, 2015 organised by the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies (FIDS) of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Wa campus.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli-Kaleo in the Upper West Region said for the AG to function effectively it should be independent of any form of governmental control.

Mr Bagbin called on Ghanaians to support the call for the separation of the two institutions in order to bring about efficiency into the country’s justice system. He said the move is constitutional and not a political matter, which calls for a thorough public discussion and acceptance before it can be done during constitutional reforms.

Speaking on corruption in the country, the Majority Leader hinted that donor partners are withholding about 600 million dollars they pledged to give the country to undertake certain development projects because they wanted to see a certain level of commitment towards the fight against the canker.

“Our current score is 49 per cent, so they are waiting to see our next score before they release the funds,” he said. Mr Bagbin pointed out that corruption exerts a heavy toll on the country’s economy and “it is only the anger and revulsion of the public against corruption that would do the nation a great deal in the struggle to curb it”.

The Majority Leader also touched at governance in the country, saying frequent changes of ministers as had been the norm by successive governments did not encourage continuity in the development process.

Mr Bagbin noted that a very most ministers may need more time to understand the sector in order to plan and take strategic decisions to bring about change in the ensuing years.

“A president is given four years mandate to bring about change in the country and the head of state in turn appoints a minister and expects the fellow to use one year to bring about the needed change in a particular sector,” he said.

Dr Sylvester Gala, Dean of FIDS, UDS, Wa campus noted that Universities the world over are citadel of national development, hence, the idea behind the organisation of the lecture.

Dr Daniel Bagah, Dean in charge of UDS, Wa campus and Dean of the School of Business and Law said the fight against corruption in the country should not be an individual affair but rather a collective effort, “for there is strength in numbers”. – GNA