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General News of Thursday, 21 May 2020


Martin Amidu’s age: I’m not satisfied with Supreme Court ruling – Haruna Iddrisu

Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader

Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, says that he is getting worried about the kind of court system being practised in the country especially given the Supreme Courts ruling over the eligibility of Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor.

According to the Minority Leader, the 5-2 decision of the Supreme Court indicates that Article 192 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana is now irrelevant.

“Your aunt, grandmother and grandfather, you can constitute them tomorrow and come and do public service because your experience as a critical human resource is still important,” he said in an interview with Joy News.

He argues: “the Constitution provides a tenure for public office. Public within the contest of Article 190 of the Constitution. Go back to the memorandum that accompanied the Office of Special Prosecutor bill and other bills; Parliament was exercising its power in creating new and additional Public Service office.”

He explained that the ruling simply implies that older citizens above the retirement age can be appointed Chief Executive in any public office and the reference will be the Supreme Court ruling.

On this basis, when it comes to the law, he explained that his confidence is eroding because “I am beginning to look back with some disappointment that we rely on this independent adjudicator”.

With a majority 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Martin Amidu is eligible to hold office as Special Prosecutor.

The decision read by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah means the retirement age for employees of the "public service" does not apply to the office of Special Prosecutor.

Former Deputy Attorney-General Dr. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine who filed the case said per the true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1)(d), 199(1) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retirement age of all holders of public offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1)(d) is 60 years, and not beyond 65 years.

Article 190(1) states “The Public Services of Ghana shall include” (d) such other public services as Parliament may by law prescribe.

Article 199(1) states “A public officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty years.”

Dr. Ayine argued that at the time President Akufo-Addo named Martin Amidu as SP, that latter was not qualified because he was 66.

He said that this contravenes section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959).