General News of Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Nominee for Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, says he considers his nomination as a fine opportunity to prevent any future coups.
Martin Amidu said coup makers have in the past, justified overthrowing governments because of endemic corruption.
“It is important that this country is stabilised. It is important that nobody makes an excuse to make a coup,” he told MPs who are vetting his nomination at the Appointments Committee, Tuesday.
Born 1951, Martin Amidu has witnessed all of five coups and remembers how Generals were accused of corruption just for taking bank loans.
Returning to democratic rule in 1992 after the last coup in December 1981, Martin Amidu said he played a significant role in drafting the 1992 constitution which he believes is to ensure accountability and good governance.
But the anti-corruption campaigner has witnessed pervasive corruption even under the fourth republic which has produced five presidents to date.
He said President Jerry Rawlings, who was the first president under the 4th Republic, did well to fight corruption but could not uproot it.
He has observed the canker has particularly been pervasive under the previous administration. Amidu believes the 1992 constitution is under threat if corruption goes on unchecked.
He said he turned down an offer to join the Supreme Court in 1999. He recalled that Justice William Atuguba and Justice Bampo-Addo tried to prevail on him to accept the post.
“But I will not change my mind,” he told MPs.
“This [rejection] is to demonstrate that my acceptance of Special Prosecutor is… because of the high ideals which I attach to making sure the ordinary people of this country can have the benefit of the resources of this country…”
“… by stopping the leakages and slippages that have gone on since the coming into force of 1992 constitution”.
He indicated that he considers the role an important in honouring the memories of those together with whom he helped draft the 1992 constitution.
Martin Amidu said despite accepting the post, he had problems with the law creating the Special Prosecutor which he has pointed out to President Nana Akufo-Addo.
But he has come to an understanding that “whatever is there is with the law; the fight against the constitution must go on”.
“You don’t throw the baby with the bathwater”.