Gordon Offin-Amaniampong examines anti-graft prosecutor Martin Amidu

Martin Amidu is Anti-Graft Prosecutor in Ghana. You didn’t hear that, did you? Is that why you are still diddling. Be forewarned though, it’s going to get giddy. People will be scampering. The muckraker is all set. And where would the dystopian go?

They had reached an advanced state of collapsing Ghana’s economy and impoverishing its people. But the Eagle was in wait, preparing himself to launch a powerful blitz. He’s coming like a tornado and roaring like a lion.

O’ how they all got swerved!

The pundits’ predicted. The opposition had a name in mind. They all got dummied. It wasn’t lawyer Akoto Ampaw — the one they labeled as President Akufo-Addo’s crony. That would have been a wrong move. Critics could have pounced on it and masqueraded in the streets of Accra and across the country chanting — ‘nepotism democracy’ or ‘hypocrisy democracy’.

Martin Amidu
Martin Amidu seen addressing an event in photo file

By putting his best foot forward President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo has cut the head of the poisonous snake. Now let the cobra twitch its tail.

On Thursday January 11, 2018, Mr. Akufo-Addo said he has accepted the nomination of Martin Alamisi Benz Kaiser Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, subject to the approval of Parliament. “I have accepted the Attorney General’s nomination, and will, in turn, submit for Parliament’s approval, when it reconvenes on January 23, 2018, for its first meeting… The name of Martin Alamisi Benz Kaiser Amidu to be the first Special Prosecutor under the law”, the president said.

The anti-graft crusader, who earned the name citizen vigilante was the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice from January 2011 till January 2012 under the late President John Atta-Mills. Mr. Amidu, who was also a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) served as the Deputy Attorney-General during the last four years of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) military government of Jerry John Rawlings.

Speaking to the media in Accra at the Flagstaff House Mr. Akufo-Addo said he accepted the appointment of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor because he was fully convinced that he would be independent and impartial in exercising his duties. “Mr. Amidu is a prominent legal personality… who has the requisite integrity, competence, courage, and independence of character to discharge effectively the responsibilities of this new office,” the president remarked.

Commendations: (‘Obiaa se ɛyɛ‘)

I congratulate him on his deserved nomination, and wish him Godspeed in the valiant efforts he will undoubtedly be making to enhance the quality of governance of our country. The Ghanaian people will be the beneficiaries of that,” said president Akufo-Addo.

He reminded Ghanaians that the track record of Mr. Amidu is unquestionable, citing what the Supreme Court said about 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 judgment, 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…

Former President Rawlings has congratulated Mr. Amidu on his new appointment at the office of the Independent Prosecutor. Mr. Rawlings who was optimistic Parliament would approve the appointment said, “The President couldn’t have made a better choice. The president by this appointment has risen above partisanship and recognized a highly principled citizen.

Mr. Amidu has proven to be a fearless anti-corruption crusader whose pursuit of truth and justice has won him national admiration. I call on all Ghanaians to offer the appointee the required support and information in pursuit of what will undoubtedly be a challenging role,” the former President of Ghana said.

Emile Francis Short, the former Commissioner on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has also praised the President on the appointment of Martin Amidu as the country’s first Special Prosecutor awaiting parliamentary approval. “I am very pleased with the appointment, and I think we should all congratulate the president for this wise and prudent appointment. In my view, it demonstrates the president’s personal commitment in his fight against corruption to pick someone like Martin Amidu, who is a fervent anti-corruption crusader”, he said.

Mr. Emile Short said this decision by the President is going to boost the fight against corruption in terms of effective investigation and prosecution of persons implicated in acts of corruption: “He [Martin Amidu] is independent-minded and I am sure he is someone who will not be influenced by political or party consideration. He’s someone who has been proven to be very objective; he is very capable and competent as a lawyer and as a prosecutor.

Meanwhile, an NDC Member of Parliament for Tamale Central Constituency, Inusah Fuseini, has welcomed the nomination of Martin Amidu by the president, describing the announcement as a “refreshing news”. “I think that it is refreshing news in 2018. It appears to me that the 2018 appointment of Martin Amidu clearly shows that Nana Akufo-Addo might want to change the course and look at an all-inclusive government.

So, what is it and who will be prosecuted?

The Special Prosecutor Office is an independent non-partisan body with the relevant professional capability to lead the fight and hold public officials past and present accountable for the stewardship of public finances.

And who will be prosecuted?

Is it me or is it you? Well, everyone deemed a nation wrecker. Every individual that’s purported to have caused financial loss to the state and everybody or anybody who’s looted, pillaged, embezzled, misappropriated, misused and defrauded the state will wag his/her long tail. In other words, all persons found to have robbed Ghana will stand to be prosecuted.

Did I tell you this?

The Prosecutors’ trap will catch the mosquitoes, the elephants, the tilapias and the salmons. Even the flying birds won’t be spared including the bats. The bees and the files and the reptiles cannot escape the wrath of the prosecutor — irrespective of one’s party inclinations. The new Office, I believe can effectively and efficiently function, if it wears the nonpartisan cloth. So whoever thinks that he stands, let him beware lest he falls.

But would everybody accept Mr. Amidu as an unbiased nominee?

Mr. Emile Short waded into that and allayed the fears of those who may have such doubts. He noted: “Even though Martin Amidu fell out with the previous NDC government, and maybe bitter against them; this will not disrupt his sense of judgment in prosecuting anyone from any political party.”

My knowledge of him is such that he will be prepared to prosecute both people in previous administration as well as the current administration and that is what is important. We need someone who would have the moral courage to prosecute persons implicated in corruption irrespective of their political affiliations, so I see him as somebody who will be prepared to prosecute anybody that is implicated [irrespective of their political affiliation] and I think that is the kind of person some of us were hoping will be appointed to this position,” Mr. Emile Short concluded.

Martin Amidu is known for unearthing the Woyome scandal, one of the worst financial scandals in Ghana’s fiscal history.

Source: Gordon Offin-Amaniampong

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