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General News of Wednesday, 14 February 2018


‘I’m not coming to fill up Nsawam prison’ – Amidu

Special Prosecutor nominee, Martin Amidu, has debunked suggestions that his office will fight to have all guilty persons imprisoned for their various crimes of corruption.

He said he is appreciative of clauses in the Special Prosecutor Bill that made provision for his office to allow convicted persons make restitution.

Martin Amidu, who appeared before Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Tuesday, said his focus as the Special Prosecutor if approved, will not be to fill up the country’s prisons.

He said, the office will be open to accepting proposals for convicted persons who wish to pay back the monies they illegally acquired from the state to avert a jail term.

“For me, the issue is not necessarily wanting to fill Nsawam with people. One of the issues of prison administration is to reduce the number there, so that we don’t spend money feeding people we shouldn’t feed. So I see this plea bargaining thing as a good incentive for those who want to make reparation for the consideration of the court and go and sin no more,” he said.

Martin Amidu however added that, the office will take into account persons whose proposals are reasonable.

“…the office will have to take into consideration all the grounds under which reparation must be accepted. It must be reasonable. What is the use of imprisoning him when you can get the money back?” he asked.

“If he agrees to get the money back only for conviction and probation, I think that is better for the nation than imprisoning him ten years, you feed him 10 years, giving him prison clothing for 10 years…. so that those who think the office is just going to be there locking people left, right and center, they will realize that the office will act reasonably and it is only cases that are in the national interest after investigations to prosecute, that will be prosecuted,” Martin Amidu further said.

Amidu justifies SP job

Meanwhile, Martin Amidu revealed that President Nana Akufo-Addo convinced him not to reject the offer despite his reservations about the law that set up the office.

After discussions between him and President Akufo-Addo, he said he came to the conclusion that the fundamental purpose of the Special Prosecutor’s office to eradicate corruption has not been compromised.