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General News of Friday, 12 July 2019

Source: dailyguidenetwork.com

Amidu age case adjourned indefinitely

The Supreme Court has indefinitely adjourned proceedings in the suit challenging the appointment of Martin A.B.K. Amidu as Special Prosecutor by President Akufo-Addo.

This is to allow the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo to reconstitute the seven-member panel hearing the matter.

The reconstitution of the panel was occasioned by the impending compulsory retirement of one of the panel members, Justice Sophia Adinyira which is due on July 31 this year.

The panel has indicated that they may not be able to see the case to its logical conclusion before their colleague judge proceeds on her retirement hence the need for the panel to be reconstituted.

Order

The court at its last sitting had ordered the Office of the Attorney General and NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga, Dr. Dominic Ayine, who is challenging Mr. Amidu’s appointment based on age, to file further legal arguments within three weeks.

The order of the court followed the filling of the memorandum of issues by both parties in the case as directed by the court in February this year.

Tony Lithur, who is counsel for Dr. Ayine, told the court that he had met the Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame and they had agreed on the issues to consider and had subsequently filed the memorandum of issues.

He, therefore, asked the court for directions on the way forward.

The seven-member panel of the court presided over by Justice Julius Ansah, with Justices Sophia Adinyira, Anin Yeboah, Baffoe-Bonnie, Sulemana Gbadegbe, Samuel Marful Siau and Agnes Dordzie, as members directed the parties to file legal arguments in three weeks.

Case

Dr. Ayine filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging Mr. Amidu’s age to be appointed as Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor.

The NDC MP, who was the Deputy Attorney General under the previous Mahama administration, is seeking a relief, including “a declaration that by a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190 (1) (d), 199 (1) (4) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the required age of all holders of public offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1) (d), is 60 years, anyhow not beyond 65 years.”

The Attorney General’s Office, in its response to the suit, prayed the Supreme Court to dismiss the suit, saying the suit is being “borne out of narrow, inadequate and literal construction of the scope of the application of Article 199 of the Constitution.”

He averred that Mr. Amidu is not “a proper party to the suit” as the action seeks to challenge the Attorney General’s decision to nominate Mr. Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, as well as his presentation by the President for Parliament to approve.

He stated that the decision to appoint Mr. Amidu was taken in the course of the official duties of the President and AG and Mr. Amidu can therefore not be a party to the suit.

He prayed the court to dismiss the suit and the court agreed with the Deputy AG and subsequently struck out the name of Mr. Amidu as defendant in the suit.