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General News of Thursday, 21 June 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Martin Amidu has been demoted; not independent - Hassan Ayariga

The Founder and Leader of the All People's Congress (APC), Dr. Hassan Ayariga, has registered his disappointment towards the current ‘demeaning’ state of the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, saying the latter was downgraded the moment he was appointed.

In an interview with George Kwasi-Bright of Afrikan Post Newspaper, Dr. Ayariga explained that, Mr. Amidu being a former Attorney General, and having served the longest in that office, deserved anything better than to be working under another Attorney General.

According to the Office of the Special Prosecutors Bill, 2017, the Office is responsible for amongst other things, prosecuting of corruption-related offences involving public officers and politically exposed persons on the authority of the Attorney-General.

This, Dr Ayariga argues rules out the special prosecutor’s independence in operation.

“Looking at the position of honorable Martin Amidu, he has been the longest serving attorney general in our history, then he is now made the Special Prosecutor. If you look at his activities or what he is supposed to do, in terms of his mission, and his leadership chain, you realize that he is now going to work under a Special Prosecutor after being the Special Prosecutor before. So practically he has been demoted instead of being promoted.

If he was an independent Special Prosecutor, his office would be an independent office, answering to nobody, just a new office created on its own to carry out activities independently. The NPP manifesto allows him to be a Special Prosecutor under the Attorney General, so what is the essence of creating his office if you know the Attorney General can do the job. He is not independent. That means that he is a branch of the Attorney General Department, which is meaningless, which does not make sense to us in the APC,” he said.

The leader for the APC who also mentioned the introduction of the Special Prosecutor’s office in his manifesto, suggested that the current administration’s approach towards the establishment of the special prosecutor’s office is flawed.

“In our manifesto, we spoke about an independent Special Prosecutor, in their manifesto, they spoke about Special Prosecutor. So you see, there is a difference. That is why today, even though we have actually created the office of the Special Prosecutor I still see it that, there are still loopholes to it,” he noted.

Mr. Amidu was approved Special Prosecutor by Parliament in February 2018, following a nomination by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 11, to be at the forefront of the fight against corruption in the country.