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General News of Saturday, 20 July 2019

Source: 3news.com

Be patient and encourage Martin Amidu – Emile Short advises

A former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has advised Ghanaians to be patient with the Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu, in his fight against corruption.

Justice Francis Emile Short also wants Ghanaians to encourage the Special Prosecutor, who has in a recent article lamented a lack of cooperation by state institutions in graft investigations.

In talking about the challenges confronting his office, the Special Prosecutor fingered heads of public institutions and threatened to sue the Attorney General if that office fails to cooperate with his office.

Speaking on The Key Points on TV3 Saturday, Mr Short said it is not good that the 2-year-old Office of the Special Prosecutor for corruption matters is faced with lack of cooperation.

“It is unfortunate Martin Amidu is facing lack of cooperation,” he noted, on the morning show.

He said what Martin Amidu needs from the public is support and not judgement on how many cases he has been able to prosecute or how well he has done.

For his personal assessment of the Office so far, “I don’t want to judge him”.

“I want us to be patient, we should encourage him,” he said, adding: “Public institutions should also collaborate with him”.

However, Mr. Short believes the Special Prosecutor has the power to compel institutions to produce information and documents he requires for investigations into corruption cases.

He wants Martin Amidu to consider invoking such powers under the law that establishes his Office, explaining it is criminal for anyone to disregard an invitation or request from the Office.

Mr. Amidu had also alleged a deliberate attempt by other state institutions to frustrate his Office by instituting parallel investigations but Mr. Short wants all the institutions with investigative powers to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on who handles what case to avoid duplicity.

Meanwhile, the former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Vitus Azeem, wants the Special Prosecutor to have a framework on what cases his focus is on.

According to him, Martin Amidu should be able to decide whether he will take up corruption cases on his own or take up those he has been petitioned on.