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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Columnist: Umaru Sanda Amadu

When cleaners engage in a messy fight; The Amidu Vs Anas case

Opinion Opinion

I first met the revered Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu while he was still Attorney General and Minister of Justice. At the time he was vigorously pursuing Alfred Agbesi Woyome for a judgment debt wrongfully paid him by the state.

Martin Amidu is a man with so much conviction who didn’t care whose ox is gored. He was soon fired by late President Mills, became “jobless” and took up a new job of pursuing Woyome from outside government. His pastime is writing “gargantuan” statements that almost always shook the foundations of government.

If the Chief Vigilante mentioned you in his article, you might as well put a toilet roll on standby. A modest old man with a funny and light side unknown to many, Martin Amidu is so transparent he would insist on a receipt even after transacting a business as simple as photocopying an A4 sheet at the internet cafe.

I’m not even kidding. He is so meticulous, he could tell you the exact time you last spoke with him on the phone and how long the call lasted. He always knows more than the nuclear family members of any individual he deals with and will tell it all when need be. Just don’t cross him.

On the number of times I meet him, he’s so down to earth- he opens the main gates to his house for you- leaving you wondering if this is the man who is the talk of town. He’s served longer than any Minister at the Attorney General’s Department and from observing him perform in court, I dare say he is one of Ghana’s best lawyers. He has rejected several awards that sought to crown him an anti-corruption avatar. His response has always been that he wasn’t fighting for recognition but for the Constitution of Ghana.

Isofoton, Waterville and Woyome all crumbled before his legal might. He has been the darling man of millions of Ghanaians since embarking on his anti-corruption crusade. The abysmal performance of Independent Presidential Candidates notwithstanding, I still think Martin Amidu would have obtained about half of the votes votes had he contested elections within the past few years.

He is simply amazing at what he does and Ghanaians love him. Anas Aremeyaw Anas is that individual you love, adore, protect, and defend, though you can’t make him out if you met on the streets. I heard about his good work when he did his covert investigations at a biscuit factory in Ghana that alarmed many.

The young journalist would soon become the talk of town. The public loved him, while the unscrupulous ones, especially those in the police service, dreaded him. I first got in touch with him after his expose at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, DVLA. I’ve met him before (or someone who claims to be him) and he exhibited humility without measure.

He’s smart, young, powerful and down to earth. He is passionate about his work- journalism. Anas believes in shaping his community through his work and I think he has excelled at this. His latest work that shook the very foundation of Ghana’s judicial system has pushed him deeper down the hearts of the Ghanaian public.
In his latest work titled, “Ghana in the Eyes of God”, Ghanaians saw their fears and suspicions materialize live and coloured on a huge screen at the Conference Centre in Accra. People were shocked, some felt vindicated, others, irritated.

It was Ghana’s day of shame, both locally and internationally. The nation trended for weeks on the media for the very wrong reasons. We now have another Martin Amidu, I thought to myself. I envisioned a meeting of the two men over a cup of fresh cow milk discussing collaborative efforts aimed at fighting the canker called corruption.

It would be a fantastic pair of anti-corruption crusaders, I imagined. But this never happened. When the Chief Vigilante issued a statement on Monday accusing Anas Aremeyaw Anas, our darling anti-corruption crusader of being “corrupt” in his recent expose, I was dumbfounded. On the phone, Anas swore to me he would “check mate” Martin Amidu’s statement. And boy, did he do that. It was the fiercest and boldest statement ever written to counter the former Attorney General that I’ve seen.

The words were sharp and biting- just like his opponent’s piece. If the words in both statements were human beings, the title of the movie they star in would have been titled BLOODY WAR!!! I’ve followed Martin Amidu long enough to know he wouldn’t make such a damning claim against Ghana’s ace investigative journalist if he didn’t have concrete evidence to back same. He said in his statement of Monday that a sequel on Tiger Eye PI will be published soon- possibly, on Wednesday.

I can’t wait to see the content of that statement and as usual, I expect it to be long, detailed and carefully worded. Having built a reputation for himself, I know Anas would not have mounted this spirted defence and used the words he used if he had skeletons under his mask. “If a blind man says he’ll hurl a stone at you, he certainly has his foot placed on one”, so goes the saying.

I know both men are standing on something firmer than the arrival date of the Turkish power barges and I know when they eventually run out of armour, what will be left behind is one nasty mess. I’m sure of one thing though: If Amidu loses this war, he’s doomed for the rest of his life and if Anas does, he’s lost his place forever.