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AMIDU IS SPECIAL PROSECUTOR - Fear grips Mahama, Akufo-Addo appointees

Politics

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday nominated Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, subject to the approval of Parliament.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday nominated Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, subject to the approval of Parliament.

 

According to the President, the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, by letter dated Thursday, January, 11, 2018, exercised her power of nomination, and submitted to him, for his acceptance, the name of Martin Amidu as the proposed Special Prosecutor.

“I have accepted the Attorney General’s nomination, and will, in turn, submit for Parliament’s approval, when it reconvenes on 23rd January, 2018, for its first meeting of this New Year, the name of Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu to be the first Special Prosecutor under the law,” he added at a press conference at the Flagstaff House.

The President told the media that the nomination of the former Attorney General in the NDC government was because he was fully convinced that Mr Martin Amidu, “a prominent legal personality, who held the high office of Attorney General of the Republic in the government of the late President Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills, has the requisite integrity, competence, courage and independence of character to discharge effectively the responsibilities of this new office.”

President Akufo-Addo recounted the commendation given by the Supreme Court to Martin Amidu for his public spiritedness in the case of Amidu vrs Attorney-General, Waterville & Wayome [2013-2014] 1 SCGLR 112 @ 166.

It will be recalled that in that judgement, per the respected Judge, Dotse JSC, the Supreme Court stated that “…The role of the Plaintiff, Martin Alamisi Amidu, a distinguished former Attorney-General of this country, needs to be highly commended as was done in the lead judgment of the court. The Plaintiff, in my opinion, must be highly commended for his vigilante role in protecting the wanton dissipation of the public purse…”

The Court also, in a related suit, had this to say about Martin Amidu: “… the Plaintiff (that is to say Mr. Amidu) is to be commended for his public spiritedness which has fuelled his meticulous and industrious presentation of this case…”

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that he could also, personally, vouch for the public spiritedness of Mr. Amidu.

“We were on opposite sides in a series of landmark constitutional cases in the period leading up to and in the early years of the 4th Republic, well known to students of constitutional law, which helped shape the evolution of the Constitution of the 4th Republic. As Deputy Attorney General, as he then was, he conducted those cases with the fairness which should be a cardinal feature of the conduct of any self-respecting lawyer,” he said.

The President noted further that Mr. Amidu had indicated his willingness to accept the appointment as Special Prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the nomination of Mr Amidu as the Special Prosecutor is said to have struck some kind of fear among appoitees of the previous Mahama-led NDC government, as well as some appointees in the current Akufo-Addo-led government, in view of his no-nonsense position on corruption.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor will have the mandate to investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption under the Public Procurement Act 203 Act 63 and other corruption-related offenses implicating public officers, political office holders and their accomplices in the public sector.

Martin Amidu was the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice from January 2011 until January 2012.

He served as the Deputy Attorney-General for about the last four years of the Provisional National Defence Council military government.

After civilian rule was established in the Fourth Republic in January 1993, he continued to serve in the government of Jerry Rawlings as Deputy Attorney-General. This he did for both terms lasting eight years until January 2001.

 In the December 2000 presidential elections, he stood as the running mate of John Atta Mills. The NDC lost the election.

 In January 2010, following a cabinet reshuffle, President Mills replaced Cletus Avoka with Amidu as the Minister for Interior.

Following the second major cabinet reshuffle by President Mills, Amidu became the Attorney general and Minister for Justice of Ghana.

 He was relieved of his post on January 19, 2012 under circumstances described by aids to the late Mills as 'his misconduct' at a meeting chaired by the president at the Osu Castle on January 18, 2012.

 Martin Amidu, the former Attorney General, single-handedly challenged the legality of the payments after being relieved off his post at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the money as Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney-General clearance to execute the court’s judgment, ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state.

 Following the delays in retrieving the money, Mr. Amidu in 2016 filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking to examine Alfred Woyome, on how he would pay back the money, after the Attorney General’s office under the Mahama Administration, led by the former Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, discontinued a similar application.