A Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo, has described the nomination of former Attorney General, Martin Amidu as the country’s first Special Prosecutor as the “most objective political appointment” in the Fourth Republic.
According to him, the outspoken member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) possesses the qualities needed for the position which was created by the government to lead the prosecution of corrupt state officials.Ransford Gyampo, who had also suggested the appointment of Martin Amidu to head the Special Prosecutor’s Office prior to Thursday’s announcement, added that Martin Amidu “has the stature, character, competence and objectivity”, to pursue corrupt officials within the current government as well as previous ones.
“I proposed the appointment of a person in the character and stature of Martin Amidu (or Anas) as someone who could do well to surmount the fundamental problem and make some strides in the fight against corruption in spite of the challenges of independence,” Ransford Gyampo wrote.
“This is the most objective political appointment that has ever been made in the history of our Fourth Republic. “If you cant find them in your party, go beyond your party to find them all in the name of serving Ghana.” Not all positions can or must be filled from within.”
Several persons had expressed fears that President Akufo-Addo would appoint someone from within the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to head the Special Prosecutor’s Office, thereby compromising their objectivity.
However, the appointment of Martin Amidu, a known member of the opposition NDC, will erase many doubts about the neutrality of the Office.
And according to Dr. Gyampo, the appointment of Martin Amidu was one that could be celebrated by all political parties given his tendency to speak out against different governments, including his own.
He also commended the President for his “bold” choice, acknowledging that the appointment was an indication of his commitment towards fighting corruption.
“President Akufo Addo has demonstrated his desire to protect the national interest. I am sure he was opposed about his choice by the hawks and the overly partisan apparatchiks. I congratulate him for this bold step,” he wrote.
“Mr. President, more of these appointments. Appointments that even your political opponents can’t really oppose.”
See the full statement from Ransford Gyampo below:
1. The Special Prosecutor suffers from a fundamental challenge regarding autonomy and independence.
2. In my earlier critique of the move to create a Special Prosecutor rather than an Independent Public Prosecutor, I proposed the appointment of a person in the character and stature of Martin Amidu (or Anas) as someone who could do well to surmount the fundamental problem and make some strides in the fight against corruption in spite of the challenges of independence.
3. Martin Amidu has the stature, character, competence, objectivity and all it takes to wield the needed DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD in fighting corruption within the ruling party and outside the party.
4. He has the NAME, MORAL AUTHORITY AND CREDIBILITY as CITIZEN VIGILANTE and I believe he would work to protect not only our money, but also his own name.
5. This is the MOST OBJECTIVE POLITICAL APPOINTMENT that has ever been made in the history of our Fourth Republic. “If you cant find them in your party, go beyond your party to find them all in the name of serving Ghana”. Not all positions can or must be filled from within.
6. President Akufo Addo has demonstrated his desire to protect the NATIONAL INTEREST. I am sure he was opposed about his choice by the hawks and the overly partisan apparatchiks. I congratulate him for this bold step.
7. There would be serious autonomy challenges but CITIZEN VIGILANTE, do your best for mother Ghana under the circumstance.
8. I am a very proud Ghanaian today and I thank the President for following one of the key pathways to dealing with Winner-Takes-All politics.
9. Mr. President, more of these appointments. Appointments that even your political opponents can’t really oppose.
10. Mr. Amidu, I wish you well. Remember how you took people in your own party on. Take appointees of this administration on when necessary to give you the audacity to prosecute those who aren’t in government when you have the evidence.
God bless our homeland Ghana.
P.AV. Ansah Street
Ghana’s first President in the Fourth Republic, Jerry John Rawlings also commended the appointment, describing Martin Amidu as “fearless.”
Mr. Rawlings said President Nana Akufo-Addo had “risen above partisanship and recognized a highly principled citizen.”
More About Martin Amidu
Martin A. B. K. Amidu was the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice from January 2011 till January 2012 under the late President John Evans Atta-Mills.
Amidu, a member of the NDC, served as the Deputy Attorney-General for about the last four years of the Provisional National Defence Council military government.
After civilian rule was established in the Fourth Republic in January 1993, he continued to serve in the government of Jerry Rawlings as Deputy Attorney-General. This he did for both terms lasting eight years until January 2001.
In the December 2000 presidential elections, he stood as the running mate of John Atta Mills. They both however lost to President John Kufuor that year.
In January 2010, following a cabinet reshuffle, President Mills replaced Cletus Avoka with Martin Amidu as the Minister for Interior. As Amidu is a Builsa, some people raised questions as to his neutrality in dealing with the Bawku conflict. He however went successfully through vetting by the Parliament of Ghana and has since assumed his post.
Following the second major cabinet reshuffle by President Mills, Amidu became the Attorney general and Minister for Justice of Ghana.
Removal from Office
Martin Amidu was relieved of his post on Thursday January 19, 2012, by President John Evans Atta Mills under circumstances described by aids as ‘his misconduct’ at a meeting chaired by the president at the Osu Castle on January 18, 2012.
He made allegations relating to alleged financial impropriety on the part of another cabinet minister, allegations he was asked by the president to substantiate.
Martin Amidu, the former Attorney General, single-handedly challenged the legality of the payments after being relieved off his post at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the money as Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney-General clearance to execute the court’s judgment, ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state.
Following the delays in retrieving the money, Mr. Amidu in 2016, filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking to examine Alfred Woyome, on how he would pay back the money, after the Attorney General’s office under the Mahama Administration, led by the former Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, discontinued a similar application.
In February 2017 however, Mr. Amidu withdrew his suit seeking an oral examination, explaining that the change of government under the New Patriotic Party under His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo and his Attorney General, Miss Gloria Akuffo’s assurance to retrieve all judgment debts wrongfully paid to individuals Mr. Woyome in response prayed the Supreme Court to stay proceedings on the oral examination since he had filed for a review on the case.
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana