Special Prosecutor Bill thrown out of Parliament ?

The Special Prosecutor Bill 2017 was on Friday ‘thrown out’ of Parliament following the decision by the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee that it does not qualify to be passed under a certificate of urgency and that it should follow due process before the house will consider.

Parliament on July 18, accepted the bill despite stiff opposition from the Minority which alleged there were some illegalities in the process of presenting the bill to the house, among other, it was not gazetted.

The majority held the position that the bill was brought to the house under a certificate of urgency and so did not have to go through the usual process of gazetting.

But the minority persisted in their demand that the bill presented to Parliament did not follow the procedural requirement and that it should be withdrawn and taken back for due process to be followed.

Order 120 (1) of the Standing Orders of the House, which is premised on Article 106 (2) of the Constitution states that “Except as provided in Orders 119 and 112 no Bill shall be introduced unless the text of the Bill, with no variations other than such as, in the opinion of the Parliamentary Draftsman, are of a trivial or drafting character, has been published in the Gazette fourteen days before the date of its introduction in the House.”

The Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, which earlier in the week failed to reach an agreement on the legality of the process, on Friday managed to reach a general consensus that the bill be sent out of parliament for government to reintroduduce it through the right processes.

The Special Prosecutor Bill 2017 shall establish the Special Prosecutor’s Office, a specialized Agency with the powers and authority of the Attorney General to investigate cases of corruption and prosecute public and private officers implicated in corrupt activities.

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