The Attorney-General’s Department says its Wednesday’s statement was not intended to create the impression that it gave Martin Amidu direct support in his crusade against Waterville Holdings Ltd. at the Supreme Court.
A Deputy Attorney-General Dr. Dominic Ayine, who signed the statement issued Wednesday explained if the A-G’s Department gave Mr. Amidu any logistical and financial support “it would have been very obvious that he was being compromised.”
He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show the primary purpose of Wednesday’s statement was to “applaud Martin Amidu for his public spirited, public interest litigation stance that he took which gave the state the opportunity to take steps to retrieve the monies that – in the opinion of the Supreme Court – were unconstitutionally paid [to Waterville]”.
Former Attorney-General Martin Amidu on June 14, 2013 issued a response exclusively to Joy FM from the highest court of the land which ordered construction firm, Waterville Holdings Ltd to refund some €25 million ($47million) paid it by the Mills-administration.
The court granted reliefs sought by Mr. Amidu who argued the contract on the basis of which Waterville made the claims giving rise to the payments was unconstitutional for lack of Parliamentary approval as required by law. The judgment brought him tons of commendation.
Barely a week after the ruling, the A-G’s Department, which Mr. Amidu consistently accused of being lax in protecting the public purse issued a statement, saying that “Contrary to the impression created by various media reports that Mr. Martin Amidu was left on his own to fight this case against Waterville, the Attorney General’s office researched and supported the filing of processes leading to our identification with and support for Mr. Amidu in the matter of Martin Amidu vrs. Attorney General, Waterville (BVI) Holdings, Austro-Invest and Alfred Woyome. These are matters of public record and can be verified from the Registrar of the Supreme Court.”
This was considered by sections of the public as a clear attempt to share in Mr. Amidu’s glory, something Dr. Ayine vehemently denied.
He said the statement he signed “wasn’t meant to share in Amidu’s glory; it was meant to assure the Ghanaian public that we are taking the right steps to prevent the situation that brought Amidu to court in the first instance. If we did not make that abundantly clear, I want to make that clear this morning.”
He explained that the claim in his statement that the “Attorney General’s office researched and supported the filing of processes leading to our identification with and support for Mr. Amidu” was “in respect of our statement of case; it [was] not in respect of Martin Amidu’s case that he brought to court after all it was his writ and statement of case that generated the issues that served as the basis for us responding as defendants but then from our research we then decided to file a statement of case that supported him.”
He said the research the A-G’s Department did was in support of its own case not Martin Amidu’s.
Mr. Amidu a few hours after Dr. Ayine’s statement, issued a response exclusively to Joy FM, expressing surprise at the turn of events.
He wondered why the A-G’s Department which was a defendant in his case was now claiming to have supported him, the plaintiff.
But Dr Ayine countered this argument, saying the Attorney-General was merely a nominal defendant and that that did not prevent her from having an interest in a matter which coincides with that of the plaintiff.