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General News of Saturday, 28 November 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Amidu’s paragraph 34 is a ‘totally needless insinuation’ – CDD's Kwasi Prempeh hits back

Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD

Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, the Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) has stated that former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu’s comments about him possibly acting as an agent of the presidency in his 27-page response to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 9-page reply to his resignation letter is “totally needless insinuation”.

Martin Amidu in paragraph 34 of his formal response to President Akufo-Addo introduced Henry Kwasi Prempeh into the caboodle.

Amidu stated: "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.”

On Friday night, in a Facebook reply to the former Special Prosecutor, Kwasi Prempeh stated: “Oh, Comrade Martin Amidu! What is this? Why this totally needless insinuation in paragraph 34 that I may have acted as an agent of the Presidency in expressing the generally balanced and governance-focused opinions I have expressed publicly in my recent Newsfile [on Joy FM] appearances on the matter of Mr Amidu's resignation and other matters arising from that development.”

Kwasi Prempeh continued: “Mr Amidu writes in paragraph 34 of his latest epistle that he sighted me at the Presidency on a certain working day before my appearance on Newsfile on Saturday, November 14. If he did see me at the Presidency, then that must have been on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 10.”

Prof. Kwasi Prempeh added that on that day, 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.”

Prempeh also wrote about Amidu’s former office thus: “My support for the establishment and work of the OSP, including the appointment of Mr Amidu as Special Prosecutor, is also well known. And, as Mr Amidu's letter indicates, I did meet with him sometime in 2019, together with my CDD colleague Dr. Kojo Asante, at the Labone offices of the OSP. This was in connection with some financial support that CDD had mobilized and arranged independently from donor sources for the OSP even before Mr Amidu's appointment or assumption of office.”

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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