Pressure is mounting on the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Ebo Barton-Odro to resign, in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in the Martin Amidu versus Waterville case.
The latest to demand the resignation of Mr. Barton-Odro is the Progressive People’s Party, which wants the Cape Coast North Member of Parliament to first remove himself from the position of Deputy Speaker to “restore dignity to Parliament”.
The PPP further wants Mr. Barton-Odro to step down as a Member of Parliament “as a sign of respect and remorse for his actions against the State when he was Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney-General”.
Mr. Barton-Odro as Deputy A-G, publicly defended the state’s failure to file a defence to claims brought against it by Water Holdings Ltd. and businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome. He insisted the state had no case and that attempting to defend the actions brought against it would have resulted in further liabilities. The state, therefore, entered into settlement agreements with the claimants in which tens of millions of dollars were paid to them.
A former Attorney-General, Martin Amidu maintained the monies were wrongly paid to the claimants. He took his case to the Supreme Court which last week granted his reliefs and ordered Waterville to return to the state an amount of 25 million Euros is illegally obtained.
A statement issued Tuesday by the PPP’s National Secretary, Kofi Asamoah-Siaw said: “The PPP campaigned on the platform of incorruptible leadership and we wish to hold Mr. Barton-Odro to this principle”.
“We cannot continue to glorify persons whose actions or omissions have injured the State by giving them additional responsibilities especially in positions where they are expected to hold governments or the executive accountable”.
The PPP called on President John Mahama to “demonstrate a clear and present commitment to the fight against corruption and put pressure on the party he leads to strip Mr. Barton-Odro of the position if he refuses to resign.
“It has become more evident the need to separate the Attorney-General’s Office from the Ministry of Justice so that corrupt officials would not procure party cards as an insurance against prosecution”.