General News of Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, has said Parliament’s Appointments Committee could disapprove of his nomination as Special Prosecutor if they have reservations.
Mr. Amidu threw the challenge while answering a question by Minority Chief Whip, Mubarak Muntaka, on specific functions he played as Chairman of the Public Agreement Board between 1983 and 1993, during his vetting in Parliament today [Tuesday].
Mr. Amidu recalled that, he shot down contracts which were largely not in the interest of the country while serving as the Board’s Chairman.
He believes his firm stance against corruption at the time makes him competent for the Special Prosecutor position.
The lawyer was however quick to add that, the Appointments Committee could disqualify him if they wanted “somebody who will look the other way.”
“I was so meticulous with my members that unless the contract was in the national interest, I rejected it and I had a hell of problems with Senior Ministers, PNDC members … I did my job and nobody has been accused of entering into a contract which was not in the national interest.”
“That is the job I did and that is why if you want anybody who will be meticulous in investigation and prosecution, the President has made the best choice for you.”
Mr. Amidu, a man who has earned the nickname ‘Citizen Vigilante’ for his no-nonsense stance and campaign against corruption particularly in the NDC administration, was named by President Akufo-Addo on January 11, 2018, after an emergency cabinet meeting at the Flagstaff House.
The appointment of Mr. Amidu, a known member of the opposition NDC who has been very critical of the then John Mahama administration for various corruption scandals, came as a shock to many.
Mr. Amidu was widely commended and celebrated for his fight against corruption, when he single-handedly pursued known NDC businessman Alfred Woyome to the Supreme Court, and secured a ruling for the retrieval of the Ghc51million judgement debt paid to him by the state under the NDC administration.
Some have suggested the NDC fears Mr. Amidu may pursue a political agenda to jail members of the NDC but the party has stated on several occasions stated that it does not harbors such fears.
Most members of the NDC who spoke about Mr. Amidu’s appointment, however acknowledged his competence for the office.
Ayine sues Amidu
Mr. Amidu’s appointment has not been without controversy as barely 24 hours to the vetting, a former Deputy Attorney General, Dominic Ayine, filed a lawsuit challenging his nomination.
The former deputy Attorney General, Dominic Ayine, among other things posited that, Mr. Amidu, being 66 years of age, is too old to hold that office.
The lawsuit, which was filed at the Supreme Court yesterday [Monday], did not place an injunction on the vetting process, but is praying the court to annul the entire process if it finds merit in the case against Mr. Amidu.
According to Dominic Ayine, it will be unconstitutional for Martin Amidu to be approved for the position.
In his argument, he said the Office of the Special Prosecutor falls under the broad category of public officers who by the constitution must retire by age 60 with a possible extension to 65 years.
The Special Prosecutor is however under Article 145 of the constitution, given the conditions of service of Court of Appeal judges who retires at age 70, but Dominic Ayine holds a different view.