Cynthia Jane Naa Korshie Lamptey, the Deputy Special Prosecutor nominee has called on policy makers to implement a law that will regulate the number of time a case is adjourned.
According to the Deputy SP nominee, law administrators create a disturbing phenomenon by deliberately adjourning cases to delay proceedings.
Answering questions from the Appointments Committee of Parliament Wednesday, she proposed that there must be a regulation or a law specifying the number of times a case could be adjourned, beyond which a judge could not adjourn a case, adding “adjournments are used in delaying cases, and I think there must be a regulation where the number of adjournments is specified, so that during the handling of a case, the judge does not go beyond that”.
She went on to say that the legal system does not have Plea Bargaining but is practiced and therefore she advocated the inclusion of it in the law in order to shorten the periods used in handling cases as it could save clients from spending more on transportation to court.
Plea Bargaining is the negotiation of an agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant is permitted to plead guilty to a reduced charge.
She advised the public to desist from putting pressure on public office holders for favors, “Ghanaians demand favours from public office holders who are one way or the other acquaintances, a case which mostly amounts to conflict of interest.”
According to Madam Cynthia Lamptey, this practice would land them in trouble with the coming in place of the Special Prosecutor, “don’t walk the corridors of power; it may land them in trouble”.
She noted that fighting corruption is a herculean task, especially given that it is deep rooted in the Ghanaian society, but was confident that the coming in place of the Special Prosecutor’s office will help curb and significantly reduce it.
Asked by a member of the Commission, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye about why commissions of enquiry cases are not prosecuted, the nominee indicated that, in such cases, the government only raises White Papers on the recommendations of those Commissions of Enquiries, refusing to forward a docket of the particular case for prosecution, adding that “the system doesn’t end with the Attorney General’s Department”.
She further indicated that for the Special Prosecutor’s office to function well and appropriately, it needs to be resourced with competent personnel and logistics required for investigations and other duties.
She further promised to be a good assistant and team player to the Special Prosecutor and offer the office all her vast knowledge and competences to ensure that the office succeeds and the expectations of the whole country is met.
By: Frederick E. Aggrey