80% of Martin Amidu’s Vetting Questions Unnecessary – Casely-Hayford

Anti-corruption campaigner, Sydney Casely-Hayford has criticized members of Parliament’s Appointment Committee for dragging the vetting process of Martin Amidu.

According to him, about 80% of the questions asked by the members of the committee were not necessary and irrelevant to the position Martin Amidu had been nominated for.

Mr. Amidu, on Tuesday, February 13, faced Parliament’s Appointments Committee in what could probably be the longest ever parliamentary vetting session for an individual in the 4th Republic. 

The Special Prosecutor nominee responded to over 180 questions from all members of the committee in the over 7-hour long session.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority asked the most questions; making 75% of all queries, with the caucus’ leader, Haruna Iddrisu, being individual who asked the most number of questions.

Commenting on the development on The Big Issueon Saturday, Casely-Hayford said given Martin Amidu’s established competence and repute, the Committee could have completed the vetting in about two hours.

“There is absolutely no reason why we should grill somebody for 8 hours for a position that he is going to get anyway… With where Martin Amidu has put his stand as a citizen vigilante and the things he has done and the way the people of this country feel about him, I doubt very much if this country will tolerate a rejection of Martin Amidu’s nomination as the Special Prosecutor…I would say that 80% of the questions that were asked were not necessary and we could have gone home within an hour or two,” Casely-Hayford said.

“I found that we played a little fuss there and it didn’t seem like a necessary thing especially some of the questions that we were trying to get into; what happened to his ‘O’ and ‘A’ level certificate and all that. This for me was a problem…We frankly needed to simply establish the fact that he is qualified for the job and he is going to do the job… Those for me were the critical things we needed to address,” he added.

‘8-hour grilling necessary’

A member of the Appointments Committee, Mahama Ayariga in an earlier interview on the Citi Breakfast Show had suggested that the lengthy vetting was necessary for the Minority, in particular, to ascertain whether Martin Amidu could indeed carry out the mandate.

He however added that the caucus had had unanimously agreed to pass him prior to the exercise.

He noted that the posture of the Minority, who asked most of the questions during the vetting, was to indicate that they were not scared about the appointment of Martin Amidu as had been suggested by some observers.

Ayariga’s comments, however, were contradicted by the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak who said there was no prior decision to approve the nominee.

He, however, added that Minority’s conduct was to ensure they did not sound or appear emotional because Mr. Amidu is known to be a vehement critic of the NDC.