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General News of Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Source: dailyheritage.com.gh

NDC takes on Amidu over Special Prosecutor job

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has questioned the principle by which Mr Martin Alamisi Benz-Kaiser Amidu was appointed to head the office of the Special Prosecutor.

According to the party, since Mr Amidu previously challenged the constitutionality of the office of Special Prosecutor, it finds it difficult to understand why Mr Amidu, popularly known as citizen vigilante for his anti-corruption stance, accepted the offer.

In a statement signed by its General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah and copied to the DAILY HERITAGE yesterday, the NDC urged the government not to use the office as “a political outpost for witch-hunting or for hatchet jobs for an incumbent administration.

“As a party with rich knowledge of the workings of machinery of state, we respect all national institutions including especially those that are designed to assure good governance, probity, accountability and judicious use of the country’s resources.

“We observed that after falling out with the NDC administration, Mr Martin Amidu was allowed free rein to express his opinions without let or hindrance, something he did by openly castigating and issuing threats to the NDC and its leadership,” the party stated.

The party urged Mr Amidu to discharge his duties with professionalism and resist any influence from political figures.

“We believe that it is in the supreme national interest that the appointment of the person to head such an important institution be carefully thought through, that above all such an individual should enjoy the respect and confidence of all sides of the polity, and must have the impartiality and objectivity of a judge and the integrity of a clergy,” they mentioned.

They further urged Parliament to take into consideration Article 296 of the 1992 Constitution during the vetting of the Special Prosecutor.

“Article 296 (a) and (b) of the 1992 Constitution states that where discretionary power is vested in any person or authority (as in the case of a Special Prosecutor); that discretionary power shall be deemed to imply a duty to be fair and candid.

“The Article further states that the exercise of the discretionary power shall not be arbitrary. Capricious or biased whether by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike and shall be in accordance with due process of law,” they mentioned.

They added that, “in the interest of good governance, accountability, probity and fair play we urge that the national debate and the forthcoming vetting of the nominee be guided by these principles and not by the rather shrill partisanship that we have begun to witness among the rather predictable sections of the political spectrum.”

Background

Former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mr Amidu has been nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Special Prosecutor.

The announcement came less than 10 days after the President assented to the office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, together with four other bills.

At a ceremony to announce his nomination at the Flagstaff House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo underscored the efforts of Mr Amidu, especially his challenge of the judgement debt payment to businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome at the Supreme Court.

“Mr Amidu has the requisite integrity, competence, courage and independence of character to discharge effectively the responsibilities of this new office,” President Akufo-Addo said.

NDC unfased by Amidu’s appointment

Reacting to the nomination, the National Organiser of the NDC, Mr Kofi Adams insisted that the party was unfased by the nomination of Mr Amidu as Special Prosecutor

He called into question Mr Amidu’s integrity, wondering why the former Attorney General had never criticised the Akufo-Addo government for various corruption scandals that had confronted it.

“The President himself was once an Attorney General. We did not fear him and we do not fear him today. Who we fear is God. We believe in the rule of law. We believe in our constitution. We did not fear the Attorney General. How are we going to fear the Special Prosecutor?” Mr Adams said.