A Former Deputy Attorney-General, Dr. Dominic Ayine, has filed a suit to challenge the nomination of Martin Amidu for the position of Special Prosecutor.
Dr. Ayine’s lawsuit, which has been sighted by Citi News, contends that Mr. Amidu, being 66 years of age, is too old to hold public office, under which the Special Prosecutor’s position falls.
The defendants in the suit are the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, and Mr. Martin Amidu, the nominee himself.He is seeking a declaration that “by a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1)(d), 199(1), 199(4), and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retirement age of all holders of public office created pursuant to Article(1)(d) is sixty years, anyhow not beyond (65).”
He argued in his writ that, “any other interpretation would result in an unlawful amendment of Article 199 of the Constitution by legislation.”
Using the same sections of the constitution, he held that “no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1)(d).”
He is thus seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court that Mr. Amidu, “is not qualified or eligible to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor under Section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959).”
Section 13 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act says “the Special Prosecutor may delegate a function to an authorised officer but shall not be relieved of the ultimate responsibility for the performance of the delegated function.”
But, per the perceived constitutional violations, Dr. Ayine says Mr. Amidu will not be “an authorised officer,” thus also breaching the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act.
He maintains that by nominating and appointing Mr Amidu to be vetted by Parliament “both the Attorney General and the President [Nana Akufo-Addo], respectively, have violated article 199(1) of the constitution. If Parliament proceeds to approve his appointment, it would also be acting unconstitutionally.”
This action comes barely a day to the vetting of Mr. Amidu by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
If Parliament is served, there will most likely be an injunction on the vetting process pending the determination of case.
Nana Addo names Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor
Mr. Amidu, a man who has earned the nickname ‘Citizen Vigilante’ for his no-nonsense stance and campaign against corruption particularly in the NDC administration, was named by President Akufo-Addo on January 11, 2018, after an emergency cabinet meeting at the Flagstaff House.
The President in announcing the name, said he received the nomination from the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo, and has accepted the nominee, whose name will be forwarded to Parliament for approval when the House reconvenes from recess.
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.
There have been concerns that the NDC is scared that Mr. Amidu may pursue a political agenda to jail members of the party. But the party has stated on several occasions stated that it harbours no such fears.
Most members of the NDC who spoke about Mr. Amidu’s appointment, however acknowledged his competence for the office.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana