A private legal practitioner, John Ndebugri has warned that Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu could resign if, in the course of carrying out his duties, his mandate is limited.
He argued that, while giving the Special Prosecutor a free hand in investigations, the law establishing the position also gives the Attorney General some authority over the cases pursued by the Office.
“Now, there is a position which says the Special Prosecutor is accountable to the Board. The Special Prosecutor is simply a Managing Director and I do not think that the Managing Director can overrule the decisions of the Board. What is going to be problematic is that another sub section says that notwithstanding that accountability provision, the Special Prosecutor shall have full control over investigations so it creates a conflict situation and my position is that Martin Amidu as I know him, will insist that the law has made him independent and that he is in full control.
“The Board is likely to insist that they are the Board and they call the final shots and so if it happens like that [I know the person I am talking about, one case it happens, another case it happens, I am not sure it will even get to a third case] Martin Amidu will definitely walk out of the place like he walked out of President Mills,” said the lawyer.
President Nana Addo’s decision to appoint Mr. Amidu as Special Prosecutor has been by commended by many, except some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have expressed fears of a possible witch-hunt.
The man Amidu
Mr. Amidu earned the nickname ‘Citizen Vigilante’ for his no-nonsense attitude to corruption, particularly in the NDC administration, under which he served.
He was eventually relieved of his post on Thursday, January 19, 2012, by President John Evans Atta Mills for alleged misconduct.
Ahead of his sacking, Mr. Amidu had made allegations relating to alleged financial impropriety on the part of another cabinet minister.
The former Attorney General, single-handedly challenged the legality of the payments after being relieved of 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.
In February 2017 however, Mr. Amidu withdrew his suit seeking an oral examination, explaining that the change of government under the New Patriotic Party under His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo and his Attorney General, Miss Gloria Akuffo’s assurance to retrieve all judgment debts wrongfully paid to individuals Mr. Woyome in response prayed the Supreme Court to stay proceedings on the oral examination since he had filed for a review on the case.
By: Marian Ansah & Bobbie Osei/citifmonline.com/Ghana