Parliament has passed a Legislative Instrument (L.I.) which gives the Special Prosecutor and his Office the power to approve or disapprove prospective marriages of his staff if security checks conclude that such union portends or inherently wields any security threat to the OSP, himself, the government or the country.
That power, cast in the mould of a similar Regulation pertaining to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), is contained in the Office of Special Prosecutor Regulations 2018 (L.I. 2373), which matured today, Saturday 22 December 2018.
Presenting the report to the house on Saturday, the Vice-Chair of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Mr Bernard Ahiafor, said: “Mr Speaker, I rise to move that this honourable house adopt the report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the Office of the Special Prosecutor Regulation 2018 (L.I. 2373).
“Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present the Committee’s report, and Mr Speaker I will urge the Hansard Department to capture the entire report as having been read while I take the house through the observations of the Committee.
“Mr Speaker, the Committee observed that the Regulation was drafted alongside that of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) Regulation 2015 (L.I. 2227). As a result, the provisions are in tandem with BNI conditions.
“Therefore, as with the BNI, a spouse or a prospective spouse of an employee of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), must be subjected to vetting.
“An employee, who intends to get married shall notify the Special Prosecutor not later than three months before the intended marriage.
“The marriage will be approved when security clearance is given by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
“Similarly, where the employee intends to marry a foreigner, the marriage shall be approved when security clearance is given by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
“Where, in the opinion of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), the marriage poses a security risk, the Special Prosecutor may disapprove of the marriage.
“If the employee insists on proceeding with the marriage irrespective of the disapproval of the Special Prosecutor, the Special Prosecutor may direct the employee to resign or be dismissed”, Mr Ahiafor reported.
Also, he said: “An employee involved in any matrimonial suit must also notify the office of the facts of the case”, explaining that: “Where the suit has the potential to discredit the employee, the OSP or the government, that employee is expected to take steps to resolve the matter amicably, failing which the employee would be called upon to resign”.