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Opinions of Sunday, 21 July 2019

Columnist: K. Badu

The law is at Amidu’s disposal; he has no reason to grouch

Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor

The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu’s most recent epistle which sought to apprise the good people of Ghana of the seeming challenges confronting his outfit, among other things, the incompliant attitudes of head of some state institutions in his efforts to investigate alleged malfeasance, indeed, raises an eyebrow.

But all said and done, it would appear that Mr Martin Amidu’s most recent article was in response to the numerous calls by well-meaning Ghanaians to the Office of the Special Prosecutor to keep Ghanaians updated on the progress of the corruption fight.

Some of us, so to speak, would be extremely amazed to hear that before accepting the offer to lead the somewhat insuperable battle against the canker of corruption which has slackened our development thus far, Mr Martin Amidu did not anticipate the fierce resistance the corruption suspects will mount to thwart the process.

Well, if Mr Martin Amidu did not envision such exigencies, the policy makers rightly envisaged the likely challenges, and hence prudently inserting a provision which empowers the Special Prosecutor to proceed to the law courts for search warrants to deal with the stubbornly impenitent corruption suspects.

It is based on the preceding exposition that some of us are of the firm conviction that Mr Martin Amidu has no reason to squall, nag, and grouch about any incompliant corruption suspect.

We tend to believe that Ghanaians, unlike their Western counterparts, do not adhere to laws.

But the notion that Westerners are ever so righteous than their Ghanaian counterparts, could be further from the truth.

As a matter of fact, Westerners are not less corrupt than their Ghanaian counterparts

Mind you, Ghanaians are not different from other human beings elsewhere because we are all susceptible to human foibles.

However, what makes the people elsewhere much more responsible than a Ghanaian is the rigidity of the state institutions and the effective laws and regulations.

Elsewhere, though, the laws and regulations are strictly enforced, and as such the vast majority of the citizens and denizens prefer the observance to the stringent fines and the harsh punishments.

In as much as the citizens and denizens have a duty of obligation, it is up to the leadership to bring sanity into the system by strictly ensuring that all laws and regulations are enforced without fear or favour.

Of course, some of us really empathise with the Special Prosecutor on the relentless nagging and grumbling of Ghanaians who have been craving for the prosecutions of the greedy and corrupt public officials.

That said, Mr Martin Amidu has the support of every well-meaning Ghanaian in his efforts to pursue the obdurate public officials who have made it a habit to dip their hands into the national coffers at the detriment of the poor and the disadvantaged Ghanaians.

Let us be honest, the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu to the position of the Special Prosecutor with a mandate of investigating, prosecuting and retrieving stolen monies from greedy and corrupt public officials, is, arguably, the most important appointment by President Akufo-Addo’s government so far.

Ghana, to be quite honest, has been losing billions of dollars since the adoption of the Fourth Republican Constitution to the remorseless nation wreckers who take delight in swindling the state to the detriment of the poor and disadvantaged Ghanaians, and yet the methods employed by the successive governments in fighting the apparent canker have been extremely disappointing.

Despite the corrosive effects of corruption, the successive governments and their Attorney Generals have woefully failed to cooperate with other interested stakeholders to investigate, prosecute and retrieve the stolen monies from the stubbornly impenitent nation wreckers.

It is for this reason that some of us are most grateful to President Akufo-Addo for showing the seriousness and commitment towards the fight against corruption by establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor with the responsibility of investigating, prosecuting and retrieving stolen monies from the corrupt public officials.

Verily, it would be somewhat refreshing if the justice system descends heavily not only on the goat, cassava and plantain thieves, but as well as the hardened criminals who hide behind narrow political colorations.

Thus, some of us, as a matter of fact, were extremely livid when the news spiralled through somewhere last year that Mr Amidu had not been resourced adequately by the NPP government and therefore contemplating quitting the job.

Delightfully, however, the Finance Minister announced in his 2019 budget presentation that President Akufo-Addo had decided to give a staggering GH180 million to Martin Amidu to fight the canker of corruption.

I have always maintained that despite the widely held notion that Ghanaian politics is full of inveterate propagandists and manipulating geezers, we have many selfless, morally upright and forward-thinking politicians like Mr Martin Amidu in our midst.