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General News of Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

SC orders AG, Dominc Ayine to file joint memorandum; Martin Amidu struck out as defendant

The Supreme Court has ordered the Attorney General and lawyer for Dominic Ayine, Tony Lithur to file a joint memorandum of agreed issues within 14 days.

This is to enable them come together to look at the issues in the case between Dominic Ayine and Martin Amidu.

However, the Apex Court has struck out Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu, as a defendant the suit.

According to the court, there was no need for him to join as defendant in the suit since by law, the A-G is supposed to be the defendant in cases against the government and public officers. Former Deputy Attorney General, Dominic Ayine in February last year filed a suit at the Supreme Court against the appointment of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor due to his age. Dominic Ayine claims Martin Amidu, 66, was too old and is beyond statutory age of employment into public service and is seeking an order from the court to have his nomination annulled.

Ayine is praying the court to declare that "by true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1) (d) and 199 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1) (d)". He argued in his writ that, “any other interpretation would result in an unlawful amendment of Article 199 of the Constitution by legislation”.

Using the same sections of the constitution, he held that “no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1)(d)”. He is thus seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court that Mr. Amidu, “is not qualified or eligible to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor under Section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959)”. Section 13 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act says “the Special Prosecutor may delegate a function to an authorised officer but shall not be relieved of the ultimate responsibility for the performance of the delegated function”. But, per the perceived constitutional violations, Dr. Ayine says Mr. Amidu will not be “an authorised officer,” thus also breaching the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act. He maintains that by nominating and appointing Mr Amidu to be vetted by Parliament “both the Attorney General and the President [Nana Akufo-Addo], respectively, have violated article 199(1) of the constitution. If Parliament proceeds to approve his appointment, it would also be acting unconstitutionally”.