Former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, has said his appointment as Special Prosecutor does not compel him to resign from the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Mr. Amidu believes his appointment automatically makes him impartial.As a result, he failed to give a specific answer when he was asked whether he had resigned from the NDC or not.
“ If you read Section 3 of the Criminal Offences Act, the definition of a public officer includes a potential public officer, so when the President nominated me and announced it to the whole world, I became a potential public officer, recognized under the Criminal code as a public officer, so as far as I am concerned, since that day , I am neutral, and that is why you have not heard my voice over the air saying anything because I am coming to an office which has to be neutral and impartial.
“One does not need to resign. The Supreme Court has held that while you are a public officer you cannot take part in party politics. I think it involves Dr. Adjei and co. I did that case in the Supreme Court, so I do not need to make a formal resignation of anything.”
Mr. Amidu also clarified that, he knew what neutrality as a public officer entailed, having served as Ghana’s Attorney General for long.
“It is by operation of law. The articles I’ve written have been in favour of all the political divides. I’ll live by the ethics of the legal profession as the Special Prosecutor. I’m the longest serving Deputy AG, so I know what it means to be neutral.”
Mr. Amidu was nominated by President Nana Addo on January 11 for the Special Prosecutor position.
He is being vetted by the Appointments Committee who will subsequently reject or confirm his nomination.
Even before his nomination as Special Prosecutor, some members of the NDC including former Chief of Staff, Valerie Sawyerr, had raised concerns over his membership, asking him to resign from the party, since he had “become a so-called crusader, sinking lower and lower in the NDC as he seems to rise higher in the NPP.”
Valerie had argued that Martin Amidu began this campaign when he was “relieved of his post as Attorney- General after attempting to assault a sitting Head of State.”
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, claims he was asked by the then President to substantiate. He challenged his dismissal, and got a court ruling in his favour.
Martin Amidu singlehandedly challenged the legality of the payments after being relieved of 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: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana