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General News of Sunday, 29 November 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Amidu’s latest ‘epistle is long on emotions and short on facts’ – Kwaku Azar

Kwaku Azar and Martin Amidu Kwaku Azar and Martin Amidu

Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, popularly called Kwaku Azar, has said that the latest epistle from the former Special Prosecutor has little to do with the facts of the issues raised.

Asare, a Fellow in Public Law and Justice at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), indicated that the 27-page reply the Special Prosecutor wrote to the President's response to his resignation was full of emotions.

“This epistle is long on emotions and short on facts. Paragraph 34 is “seesay” evidence (an out of court sighting of someone at the jubilee house that is taken as proof that a conspiracy is being hatched to discredit you),” Kwaku Asare wrote.

He then advised Martin Amidu to further keep his epistles “short, simple, relevant and factual”.

In paragraph 34 of Martin Amidu’s 27-page reply to the President, the Citizen Vigilante wrote, “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.”

But in a reply, Prof H. Kwasi Prempeh wrote on his Facebook timeline that the former Special Prosecutor’s point in the paragraph which suggested that he Prempeh had acted as an agent of the President in expressing the generally balanced and governance-focused opinions was a totally needless insinuation.

Prempeh explained that on Tuesday, November 10, he was at the Jubilee House in the afternoon in the company of the retired Justice Date-Baah and the entire membership of the Law Reform Commission, all of them lawyers.

Prempeh explained that he sits on the Law Reform Commission, and on that 10th day of November, the Commission was at the Presidency for a scheduled appointment with the President to discuss the business of the Commission.

“That was the only item on the agenda, and the meeting took place with some media and the Deputy Attorney-General and two staffers of the President present. I said nothing at the meeting. And it wasn't a long meeting. I think we were out of the place within 45 minutes. We went to Jubilee House together as a Commission and exited together, though in our separate cars.”

Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh further denied having a one-on-one meeting with President Akufo-Addo after the meeting “and I had no reason to expect one”.

Prempeh clarified: “I do not have that kind of access to or relationship with the Presidency, contrary to the insinuation in Mr Amidu's paragraph 34. The last time before November 10 that I had the privilege to interact briefly with the President was at a webinar/conference of the Ghana Bar Association held at the Law Courts Complex Auditorium on Monday, September 14, 2020, at which event the President was guest of honour and I the keynote speaker. I do not recall the last time I was at the Presidency before the November 10 Law Reform Commission meeting with the President, but I believe it was in late 2019, at a meeting between the Vice President and a section of civil society in connection with the referendum on the election of MMDCEs.”

He then observed: “It is a rather bizarre suggestion, to say the least. My views about Agyapa are well known, and I made them known publicly long before the announcement that the OSP was conducting a ‘corruption risk assessment’ of the proposed transaction, a novel idea I have also publicly supported, though not in the form it turned out in this initial instance.”

Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh noted that in all of his public commentary since Martin Amidu's resignation as Special Prosecutor, he had endeavoured to examine the issues arising from Amidu’s resignation from a broader governance perspective, avoiding the ad hominem.

Kwasi Prempeh stressed, “Needless to say, I am surprised to see my name make such an unprovoked and needless appearance in Mr Amidu's latest release, with the wild suggestion that I may have been part of some conspiracy orchestrated from or by the Presidency to malign Mr Amidu in the wake of his resignation. There is no substance whatsoever to that suggestion or conclusion. Indeed, it would be out of character for me to do that which Mr. Amidu's paragraph 34 suggests. Even sadder for me is that this post hoc detour by [my] friend Mr Amidu to draw me into the fray is in no way helpful to the fight against corruption. In fact, it hurts that fight immensely.”

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