Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has descended upon former President John Mahama, describing his promise to retain him when he wins power as a mere campaign rhetoric.
“I have read with dismay the deliberate efforts by certain presidential candidates for the 2020 elections to drag the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the person of the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, as he is referred to, in their speeches and media publications, into their campaign rhetoric to demonstrate their determination to prevent and fight corruption as a reason why the electorate must consider them as the candidate of choice for the up-coming elections,” he noted.
Former President John Mahama is reported to have said that he will not sack Martin Amidu when he wins the December, an assertion which the Special Prosecutor thinks smacks of ignorance about the law setting up the Office of Special Prosecutor.
In another instance, the former president is reported to have said he will warn his appointees against that.
“That was not all. He also said he won’t interfere with the work of the Special Prosecutor,” Mr Amidu pointed out.
Such statements from the former president, he chided, were “patronising and needless within the objects, mandate and functions granted to the Office under the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959).”
They constitute, as he put it, “interferences with, and attempts to influence the independent mandate of this Office to investigate, and prosecute certain electoral offences apportioned to this Office under the law which constitute corruption and corruption-related offences as clearly stated in Section 79 of Act 959.”
In an apparent query of the former president for showing lack of knowledge about the law setting up the Office of the Special Prosecutor, he said any Ghanaian worthy of putting himself forward as presidential candidate “should know the content of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) by now. He must know by now that under section 4 of Act 959, except as otherwise provided for in the 1992 Constitution, the Office is not subject to the direction or control of a person or an authority in the performance of the functions of the Office even when the Office acts upon the authority of the Attorney- General, to initiate and conduct the prosecution of corruption and corruption-related offences.”
Every adult Ghanaian, he recalled, “knows who sued the nominee for the Office of the Special Prosecutor in January 2018 even before he could be considered for approval by Parliament. The record of proceedings and the media published the names of the cohort of lawyers who supported and argued the case against the Attorney General and Martin Alamisi Amidu until Martin Alamisi Amidu’s name was struck out from the suit.”
Still subtly firing at the former president and the NDC, he said, “There is no reasonable Ghanaian who does not know those who condemned the Supreme Court’s decision in the media and continue to do so.”
The Supreme Court, he recalled, has settled the matter with its final and authoritative decision in favour of the Attorney General.
According to Mr Amidu, he did not need “the assurances of anybody of leaving me in Office when she or he wins the elections. The Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (959) governs the situation.”
He added that the position of the Special Prosecutor was not one of servitude but of service.”
“It is, therefore, needless for anybody to assume airs about what she or he will do with the Office or Martin Amidu when she or he wins the elections he went on,” he emphasised.
To further buttress his points, he referred Ghanaians to some of the things he said on oath during his vetting process.
“Thieves fear experienced, credible and tested investigators whom they cannot influence. That is the way to reduce crime. When they know the investigator is very experienced, credible, and has the capacity to find wrong, they will not do it. This country is not a milking cow. It is for the people of this country, particularly, the downtrodden, the poor ones. I am saying that that is my position,” he thundered and added that “no matter who wins, Ghana remains first.”
By A.R. Gomda