General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has admonished Parliament’s Appointments committee to allow the president’s nominee for the Special Prosecutor’s office, Martin Amidu- explain reasons why he described as unconstitutional, the bill that was passed to establish the same office he will occupy.
The former Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Mr. Amidu in September 2017 issued an epistle which described the bill on the Special Prosecutor as flawed. In a 25-page article, the nominee gave a critique of the office of the Special Prosecutor, which has created a separate office to bring corrupt persons to book.
Portions of the epistle from Mr. Amidu read: ‘’The establishment of the office as a body corporate only serves to add another bureaucratic layer to the prosecutorial authority of the Attorney General. The Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) office is a recognized division of the Attorney General’s Department which prosecutes all crimes in Ghana on the authority of the Attorney General.
Already the Attorney General’s Office, and in particular the DPP’s Office is seriously under-staffed and under-funded nation-wide.
The budget will be burdened further with the creation of this office to handle just a small portion of a specific crime which could be handled by the Attorney General’s Department if the President as the personification of the executive authority supported and championed respect for the time hallowed common law mandates and conventions of that office.
Ghana is part of the Anglo-Americo-Ghanaian system of jurisprudence and these conventions and the common law have been preserved as part of the existing laws of Ghana under Article 11 of the Constitution thereof.
Would it not be more effective if the Office were specifically empowered in addition to investigate and prosecute related offences of obstruction of justice, perversion of justice, perjury, etc arising in relation to the investigation of corruption and related offences?
Mr. Asiedu Nketia said if he is asked the question, it will clarify whether Mr. Amidu accepted the role because changes were made to the bill or he accepted the role to keep him mute.
He also asked the vetting committee to interrogate reasons why he referred to the Mahama administration as corrupt.
According to him, it will be proper for him to provide the needed evidence to support his claims so people will see him as bitter.
Amidu is competent and has unquestionable character Meanwhile, he has challenged Martin Amidu, to be guided by his unquestionable integrity if approved to hold his office.
Mr. Nketia expressed his happiness at the nomination when he spoke to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow radio 87.5Fm.
He said ‘’I am happy Nana Addo has appointed Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor.
He is a competent and strong man. I believe he can do a better job.’’ The move he noted does not necessarily promote all inclusive governance rather, it shows how serious we are as a country, in finding a solution to fighting a major challenge that have confronted us for years.
The outspoken politician said, the president had no other choice in appointing another candidate from another party, because it would have been the greatest mistake for President Akufo-Addo, to appoint his own party member to hold that office.
The president was guided by the track record of Martin Amidu, he concluded. He described Martin Amidu as a man of integrity and due to his stance and defiance, he lost his job under the late Mills and so ‘’I want him to use that same character in discharging his duty.’’ Mr. Nketia said, ‘’with his integrity, he will work effectively.’’
Commenting on what led to the dismissal of Amidu under Mills, he said it was about a stance he took on a matter with the late president and so if he is someone who is not influenced by his previous appointee, he should do same under his new job.
"This kind of character will help and confirm his independence,’’ he added.