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Opinions of Monday, 13 February 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Martin Amidu also has partisan loyalties

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Lawyer Maurice Ampaw does not provide his audience with any strong evidence or logical proof for his argument against the appointment of his relative and fellow lawyer, Mr. Akoto Ampaw, as Special Prosecutor by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (See “Akoto Ampaw Is Special Prosecutor” / 2/7/17); also, “I’m Disappointed Akufo-Addo Appointed His Best Friend as SP – Maurice Ampaw” / 2/8/17).

I hope his protest is not primarily predicated on some sort of rivalry or jealousy. For other than the obvious possibility of a conflict-of-interest, being that Mr. Akoto Ampaw is also known to be a partner in the law firm of Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co., I really don’t see any problem here, especially since contrary to what Mr. Maurice Ampaw would have his audience believe, the Special Prosecutor-Designate is neither a registered nor a card-Carrying member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

What is more, the critic’s argument that popular citizen vigilante Martin Amidu would make a more credible Special Prosecutor than the man presently penciled in for the job does not bear scrutiny. This is because the former Atta-Mills-named and fired Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has far deeper roots and loyalties within the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), than can be said of the man who starred as a front-row member of Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2012 Presidential-Election Petition legal team. For not only has Mr. Amidu been a cabinet appointee of a National Democratic Congress’ government, he even once served as the running-mate of the man who would eventually fire him from his post as Attorney-General, because the latter had flatly refused to back away from his investigation of the Woyome Mega-Heist.

Indeed, until his dismissal from the Mills-Mahama cabinet and his admittedly laudable decision to doggedly pursue the criminal suspects in the Woyome Affair from the sidelines, as a private citizen, Mr. Amidu was not widely known to be any particularly distinguished legal practitioner, either in the employ of the government or even as a private legal practitioner. Mr. Akoto Ampaw, on the other hand, is a known diehard Nkrumaist who once ran for parliament on the ticket of the rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP), who also clearly and firmly established his professional bona fides with all the country’s political parties and, indeed, the electorate at large, when he convinced the Wood Supreme Court to order the Electoral Commission (EC) to release all the 2016 general election collation sheets to all the legitimately registered political parties, in order to ensure a transparent and an unquestionable electoral process.

In short, Mr. Akoto Ampaw may be objectively envisaged to have relatively done more to facilitate the credibility of Ghana’s democratic culture than can be said of Mr. Amidu, who acquitted himself rather poorly in the Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani, II, Trial of the criminal suspects of that most heinous crime against Ghanaian humanity and dignity. Of course, Mr. Amidu would later claim to have merely inherited the case, although he could have flatly refused to prosecute the same, once he realized that the charges against the alleged suspects were largely trumped up to enable the Mills-Mahama-led National Democratic Congress’ regime score cheap political points.

Also, claiming rather gratuitously that President Akufo-Addo has jam-packed his government with “family and friends” does not bear credible scrutiny, when compared to each and every one of the governments of Fourth-Republican Ghana, starting with Chairman Jerry John Rawlings to President John Dramani Mahama. At any rate, what is significant here is how Mr. Akoto Ampaw conducts business as Special Prosecutor, and how meritoriously and/or competently he handles his dockets. Going by the argument of Mr. Maurice Ampaw, about the only credible method of selecting the rightful Special Prosecutor would be to reach outside of Ghana. Which, of course, would be tantamount to an inexcusable impugnation of the integrity of the Ghanaian citizenry at large.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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