It appears the stone Citizen Vigilante Martin Amedu drew into the sky some time ago is about to fall right on his head as the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is raising a red flag on his previous assertions on the position he is about to be vetted for by the Parliment of Ghana.
[ads1]In a statement signed by the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the party’s “issue with the nomination of Mr. Martin Amidu is based purely and solely on important matters of principle.”
“We note among others that Mr. Amidu has previously published a document challenging the constitutionality of the newly established Office of Special Prosecutor, the very office he has accepted to occupy.” – Mr. Nketia noted
The former Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Mr. Amidu in September 2017 issued an epistle which described the bill on the Special Prosecutor as flawed. In the 25-page article, the Mr. Amidu gave a critique of the office of the Special Prosecutor, which has created a separate office to bring corrupt persons to book.
Portions of that article read:
“The establishment of the office as a body corporate only serves to add another bureaucratic layer to the prosecutorial authority of the Attorney General. The Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) office is a recognized division of the Attorney General’s Department which prosecutes all crimes in Ghana on the authority of the Attorney General.
Already the Attorney General’s Office, and in particular the DPP’s Office is seriously under-staffed and under-funded nation-wide.
The budget will be burdened further with the creation of this office to handle just a small portion of a specific crime which could be handled by the Attorney General’s Department if the President as the personification of the executive authority supported and championed respect for the time hallowed common law mandates and conventions of that office.
Ghana is part of the Anglo-Americo-Ghanaian system of jurisprudence and these conventions and the common law have been preserved as part of the existing laws of Ghana under Article 11 of the Constitution thereof.
Would it not be more effective if the Office were specifically empowered in addition to investigate and prosecute related offences of obstruction of justice, perversion of justice, perjury, etc arising in relation to the investigation of corruption and related offences?”
Mr. Asiedu Nketia has also expressed worries that the bitter Amidu who has issued threats against colleague members of the NDC is going to be allowed through this office to prosecute his personal agenda.
“We observe 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. We are not at all concerned, contrary to the insinuations of some that he should now to be handed the full authority of state power to possibly pursue this agenda”
Read the full statement from the NDC:
For immediate release
STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) ON THE SCHEDULED VETTING OF MR. MARTIN AMIDU TO THE
OFFICE OF SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
The Office of Special Prosecutor has recently been setup, and Mr. Martin Amidu a former Attorney General and one-time NDC running mate for Professor Atta Mills nominated as Special Prosecutor.
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 note that the Office of the Special Prosecutor adds to already existing institutions performing similar functions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Criminal and Investigations Department of the Police Service (CID), Parliament’s Oversight Committees and indeed the Office of Public Prosecutions which falls under the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Office.
We observe 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. We are not at all concerned, contrary to the insinuations of some that he should now to be handed the full authority of state power to possibly pursue this agenda.
Our issue with the nomination of Mr. Martin Amidu is based purely and solely on important matters of principle. We note among others that Mr. Amidu has previously published a document challenging the constitutionality of the newly established Office of Special Prosecutor, the very office he has accepted to occupy.
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 clergyman. The office must not be seen or treated as a political outpost for witch-hunting or the performance of hatchet jobs for an incumbent administration. That would most definitely lead to needless socio-political tensions and national instability.
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 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.
The NDC therefore expects that when the time comes for the vetting of the nominee for the position of Special Prosecutor, Parliament will discharge its obligation mindful of the above constitutional provisions. 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.
Finally, we wish to state that the NDC remains committed to the fight against corruption both in respect of the past and even more especially the present.
Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah
Source: AfricaAfrica.com | Efo Korsi Senyo