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General News of Saturday, 28 November 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Airbus scandal: Martin Amidu hits hard at CDD's Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh

Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor

Martin ABK Amidu, the former Special Prosecutor, has schooled Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) on comments the latter made regarding the Airbus scandal.

Henry Kwasi Prempeh, on November 14, stated that it was not within the remit of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to decide whether or not former President John Mahama should be prosecuted for alleged corruption in the Airbus purchase deal for Ghana.

According to Prempeh, if Martin Amidu, whilst in office was faced with a dilemma over the political standing of John Mahama, he had no power to halt prosecution without seeking legal advice from the Attorney-General.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile, Prof. Kwasi Prempeh said: “I think that is a political call that ought not to be made by the Special Prosecutor. Even if he were to say that ‘I’m unable to proceed with prosecution because my hands are tied legally’ maybe he’s tied to a certain constitutional provision. I think even in that situation the best recourse would have been to get an opinion from the Attorney-General. You could proceed to court and let the defendants themselves raise that objection and say ‘look, I’m constitutionally immune’ and that goes to the Supreme Court for determination.”

He averred: “Or it’s a political judgement because he is a candidate, then you go to the Attorney-General and say, ‘Look, I have this case. I have the facts under the law to proceed, but given the nature of the officeholder, may I proceed with that prosecution.’ And then the Attorney-General might offer you an opinion. I don’t think it is within the remit of the OSP in this particular matter for him to make that judgment call that he couldn’t proceed with the prosecution.”

This Martin Amidu has responded to in a 27-page reply to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s nine-page response to the former’s resignation letter, giving further details of what informed his decision not to prosecute the former president.

Amidu averred in paragraph 34: "I heard and read Dr. Henry K. Prempeh, the Executive Director of CDD Ghana, peddle the same falsehoods you have repeated in your paragraph 10 on Joy FM which was reported on 14 November 2020 online under the title: ‘Airbus Scandal: Martin Amidu had no excuse not to prosecute Mahama.’ This was after I had seen him in the Presidency in the company of two other lawyers on a working day before his Saturday 14 November 2020 engagement on Joy FM damning my legitimate exercise of discretion as the Special Prosecutor after taking all relevant matters in consideration. Dr. Henry K. Prempeh knows that I know he is a friend to the President, and I have told him so in two meetings that the CDD held with me in my former office to use that influence to assist the Office.”

Amidu further stated that President Akufo-Addo instructed a Minister of State while he the President was on a campaign tour of the Northern Region to liaise with him Amidu to explore whether or not it was prudent to investigate former President Mahama after the latter had recently won his party's presidential primary.

“The President was briefed as Chairman of the National Security Council as to why the investigation had to be held in abeyance till after the election and he consented to it. I can prove this with mathematical precision if the President so wishes.”

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