Political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Prof Ransford Gyampo, has expressed the need for the Special Prosecutor not to harass former minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
According to him, the former environment minister was only acting out of the goodwill he has for the country in ensuring an end to illegal mining. He revealed that the manner in which Prof Frimpong-Boateng was invited and subsequently arrested leave a lot to be desired.
“We don’t fight galamsey by harassing those who expose it, Mr Special Prosecutor. Wo rush a, wo be ti, to wo bo, na wo koraa wonny3 independent biaa saa!”Prof Ransford Gyampo
Prof Gyampo stated that he does not believe in the Special Prosecutor’s arrangement and that per research for the Team that produced the first ever document that called for the review of the 1992 Constitution, they made recommendations for an Independent Prosecutor and never a Special Prosecutor who would “walk in the shadows of a partisan” Attorney-General.
In light of this, he noted that the Special Prosecutor must therefore “tone down on his youthful exuberance and must not be rushing to please anybody” because, the office is not independent from the control of politicians.
“We asked for the separation of the Attorney General from the Ministry of Justice and the creation of an Independent Public Prosecutor who cannot be ordered by the Attorney General to pursue a case or discontinue it.”Prof Ransford Gyampo
Special Prosecutor has every right to arrest Prof Frimpong-Boateng
Commenting on the arrest and release of Prof Frimpong-Boateng on a GHS 2 million bail by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the political scientist stated that despite what transpired, the Special Prosecutor has every right to invite Prof Frimpong-Boateng to assist in getting to the bottom of some of the issues raised in his report, which he never published, but privately submitted to the President.
However, he explained that Prof Frimpong-Boateng can be invited to assist in investigations but cannot be arrested without being charged. To this, he described the incident as “disrespectful and an unnecessary show of power” as well as harassment to Prof Frimpong-Boateng.
“I am not a lawyer and I don’t want to be one but I know that Prof Frimpong Boateng could have simply been invited. If he failed to honor the invitation, then the arrest could kick in. If the Special Prosecutor is satisfied after its preliminary investigations, then Frimpong Boateng could formally be put under arrest and be charged. It is at this point that he would need to be bailed. So where from the arrest without charging? Is this what is taught at the Law School?”Prof Ransford Gyampo
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Bawku, Mahama Ayariga, has revealed that the details surrounding the arrest of Prof Frimpong-Boateng isn’t much for the public to draw their conclusion on. He however revealed that the most important thing is that, the OSP invited Prof Frimpong-Boateng as an established institution to prosecute cases and corruption related offences.
“The OSP has not issued a statement giving the details of what informed the invitation. He himself has declined to be specific, just a bit of it about drones… Is it that drones were purchased and there’s some suspicion that in the procurement of the drone, some corrupt practices were involved or not?. That is the issue, not enough details for one to run a commentary on what happened.”Mahama Ayariga
Mr Ayariga further stated that Prof Frimpong-Boateng must be commended for being a law abiding citizen. He stated that when he was invited, he made himself available to the OSP and he’s cooperating by staying away from commenting on the interrogation exercise that has taken place.