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Martin Amidu’s SP nomination a ‘smart move’ – Nunoo Mensah

A former National Security Adviser, Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah, has commended the nomination of Martin Amidu as the country’s first Special Prosecutor, describing it as a “smart move”.

He said he was confident that the former Attorney General will pursue justice given his credentials.

President Akufo Addo on Thursday announced the nomination of anti-corruption crusader Martin Amidu as the country’s first Special Prosecutor pending parliamentary approval, to the surprise of many.

The appointment comes barely a month after the President assented to the Bill which was passed by Parliament despite a vigorous debate.

The appointment of Mr. Amidu, a known member of the opposition NDC who has been very critical of the then John Mahama administration for various corruption scandals, will indeed come as a shock to many, considering that he was never mentioned when names were been bandied around in the media.

Mr. Amidu was widely commended and celebrated for his fight against corruption, when he single-handedly pursued known NDC businessman Alfred Woyome to the Supreme Court, and secured a ruling for the retrieval of the Ghc51million judgement debt paid to him by the state under the NDC administration.

“It is a very smart move by the President to appoint Martin Amidu who is a known NDC man. If it was a man who had NPP sympathy one would have thought that he will have NPP leanings towards people who will be incriminated. But if you appoint a man like Martin Amidu who is a very strict person as far as the law is concerned, it is a very smart move on the part the President. He is one of the finest people I have worked with and I know he will pursue justice whatever the case is,” Nunoo Mensah told Citi News.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor is one of the major ways by which the New Patriotic Party government promised to deal with corruption within government.

The Special Prosecutor is expected to take legal action against past and present government officers believed to have engaged in acts of corruption while in office.

The President in announcing the name, said he received the nomination from the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo, and had accepted the nominee, whose name will be forwarded to Parliament for approval when the House reconvenes from recess.

“The Attorney General is by a letter dated to me Thursday 11th January 2018 addressed to me exercised her power of nomination and submitted to me for my acceptance the name of the proposed special prosecutor. I have accepted the Attorney General’s nomination and will in turn submit for Parliament’s approval when it reconvenes on 23rd of January 2018 for its first meeting of this New Year the name of Martin Alamisi Benz Kaiser Amidu to be the first Special Prosecutor under the law,” he said.

The President noted that, Mr. Amidu had the requisite integrity and independence of character to occupy such challenging office.

“I have done so because I am fully convinced that Mr. Martin Amidu, a prominent legal personality who held the high office of the Attorney General of the Republic in the government of the late President John Evans Attah Mills has the requisite integrity, competence, courage and independence of character to discharge effectively the responsibilities of this office.”

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: Joans Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana