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General News of Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Source: 3news.com

Govt can’t engage Amidu on corruption debate in an informal forum – Buaben Asamoa

Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Communication Director of the governing NPP Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Communication Director of the governing NPP

Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) Yaw Buaben Asamoa, has rebutted the corruption allegation by the former Special Prosecutor Mr. Martin Amidu, by saying the Nana Addo-led government is not prepared to engage him in an informal forum on graft.

He said this is a result of Mr Amidu relinquishing his authority as the state’s Special Prosecutor to wage war on graft.

Mr Asamoa made this pronouncement in an interview with Martin Asiedu Dartey on the Mid Day news on TV3, Wednesday, May 26.

He was speaking on the back of the recent allegation by Mr Amidu that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stopped the former Attorney General Gloria Akuffo from prosecuting individuals in his government who received double salaries from the state, which he deems as corrupt.

But the Communications Director dissented with the former Special Prosecutor, saying “Mr. Amidu had the best possible opportunity that His Excellency President Akufo-Addo has given to any single individual to combat corruption. He was the first head of the office of the Special Prosecutor, a specialist office with all the powers designed to combat impunity and corruption in any form, irrespective of the authority and power of the person under investigation. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Amidu chose to abandon those powers and now seeks to influence the environment of anti-corruption in Ghana through these private missions.

“He has the right to comment, I welcome comments from him but we cannot take his comments as an authoritative situation on anything now because he had the opportunity. I have said before and I keep saying, that the boldness of His Excellent President Akufo-Addo in appointing someone who in our polarized environment was supposed to be from the other side. It was so politically polarized that the political will behind that made a clear statement, the President was able and willing to allow persons to engage in the thorny issues of corruption to the best of their abilities, Mr Amidu chose to run away from that power.”

He went on to stress that “and so now I find it difficult that the government has to engage Mr Amidu where he is coming from, he had all the opportunity to manage this process. From a position of power, a position of authority, the position with legal mandate which was not surpassed by any other authority in the country. I don’t want to engage Mr Amidu on the substance of what he says because he is a senior legal personality. Mr Amidu has been Deputy Attorney General and Attorney General and in senior government positions in excess of probably over 16 years in law enforcement at government levels.

“He knows what he is doing and I’m saying that at this stage, having moved on and the kind of oaths that he takes whilst in office, it is important that we don’t take the debate out of the official realm, particularly where he is concerned into the informal realm, that makes it difficult. Engaging Mr Amidu informally makes it very difficult and I don’t think the government is prepared to engage Mr Amidu informally on these matters. He was in a place where he had the formal authority and capacity to deal with these matters”.

“He chose on his own volition to leave that office and move on, it is right to move on but to compel us to follow him into an informal forum, I find it a bit difficult to deal with. Even if we begin to follow him on who did this, who didn’t do this? What really is the end gain considering where he is now, so the end gain is the advancement of Ghana, corruption control, what substantive measures to do that.

"He, as a private citizen we have known before, in his capacity as citizen vigilante he did a lot but it was on the basis that he had the opportunity or authority to run that first office as the first person in that so important office. So please let us stay focused and formal on the anti-corruption fight whilst we allow civil society to engage,” he pointed out.

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