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General News of Wednesday, 23 September 2020


Amidu’s letter lambasting a petitioner astonishing, will discourage whistleblowers – Azar

Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor

Legal luminary and public intellectual Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare (Kwaku Azar) has opined that Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu’s letter lambasting and shaming Mr Tettey Tetteh of STRANEK for petitioning his office to investigate the Agyapa deal is astonishing, and has the effect of discouraging others from petitioning his office.

Mr Amidu chastised Mr Tetteh heavily for petitioning his office to do something that is already being done. He accused him of opportunism, populism and an appetite for underserved credit.

But Prof Azar has argued that public offices such as the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) must be receptive of such petitions even if they are already working on the subjects of the petitions.

“A good prosecutor should always welcome leads, information or complaints from the public, even if it turns out that they are not helpful, useful or redundant. This is because a prosecutor cannot or does not expect the public to know what information he has or does not have on crimes that have been or about to be committed.

Further, a prosecutor should not reveal its sources to the public. Nor should a prosecutor publicly slam an informant for providing information that turns out to be unhelpful. Doing so only freezes others who may have relevant information. This is why I find the Special Prosecutor’s latest epistle lambasting and shaming Mr Tetteh of Stranek for allegedly petitioning his office to investigate the Agyapa deal to be astonishing,” he reacted on social media.

Prof Azar disagreed with accusations of opportunism and populism on the part of Mr Tetteh, the petitioner, maintaining that that the attempt to shame him is untenable since such petitions could be important leads.

“In the said epistle, the SP accuses the petitioner of being opportunistic and populist. I demur. Rather, I think the SP’s actions, obviously calculated to shame the petitioner, will have the negative effect of stopping others from filing such petitions or providing leads to the SP that may turn out to be very relevant,” he asserted.

Prof Azar then urged Mr Amidu to concentrate more on his prosecution and limit his scripting and release of epistles and be accommodating and accepting of even redundant petitions.

“There is corruption everywhere. The SP must welcome petitions, even if they turn out to be redundant, do more prosecutions and write fewer epistles,” he concluded.

Several notable commentators have agreed with Prof Azar on the inappropriateness of the public ridiculing of the petitioner.