Introduce adjournment cap in court – Dep SP nominee
The deputy Special Prosecutor nominee Cynthia Lamptey has expressed worry about the alarming rate at which lawyers abuse adjournments in court just to delay cases.
She said the development is affecting justice delivery in Ghana hence must be arrested by introducing an adjournment cap system.
Speaking during her vetting before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, 16 May 2018, Mrs. Lamptey stated a lot of cases have suffered undue delays in the courts and that the status quo will be reversed if adjournment slots are agreed on before a case commences.
“There must be regulation where a number of adjournments are specified,” Mrs. Lamptey stressed. “Adjournments are used in delaying cases.”
Suggesting measures which could help expedite prosecution in Ghana, the deputy Special Prosecutor nominee opined the chief justice should also consider “plea bargaining” in criminal cases.
According to her, plea bargaining “will shorten the period in handling cases and save clients in saving more money.”
She added: “If you agree depending on the issue of the case and plead for a lesser offence it will save you.”
Plea bargaining is an arrangement between prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence or an agreement to drop other charges.
Mrs. Lamptey has worked at the Attorney-General’s Department for over 20 years until she was relieved of her post in 2015.
She is a lawyer by profession and graduated from the Ghana School of Law. She was employed as a state attorney at the Attorney-General’s Department in 1995 and rose through the ranks till she was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions during the John Mahama administration.
As the country’s chief prosecutor, she handled several high-profile prosecutions including the case of the alleged stealing of GhC86.9 million by an Executive Director of the National Service Scheme and the criminal prosecution of Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor was established under the Akufo-Addo government to deal with corrupt public officials.