The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has, in a rather unexpected move, named Martin Alamisi Burns Kaizer Amidu, a former Attorney General and a known member of the opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC) as the first Special Prosecutor.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor would serve as a specialized agency to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers, politically-exposed persons as well as individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices and to prosecute these offences on the authority of the Attorney-General.
The new job given to Mr. Amidu has sent fear down the spines of several appointees that served under the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Martin Amidu, has consistently pointed out what he calls acts of corruption against a number of former public officers and government appointees under the NDC government.
It would not be surprising if Mr. Amidu starts to crack the whip from that direction when his appointment process is finally completed.
NDC founder, former President Jerry Rawlings, minutes after the announcement issued a statemen to congratulate Martin Amidu and throw his support behind him.
“Mr. Amidu has proven to be a fearless anti-corruption crusader whose pursuit of truth and justice has won him national admiration.
“I call on all Ghanaians to offer the appointee the required support and information in pursuit of what will undoubtedly be a challenging role,” the former President said.
Flt Lt Rawlings urged Ghanaians to pray for God’s guidance and strength for Mr. Amidu as he works to restore the wheels of justice.
Martin Amidu, nicknamed ‘Citizen Vigilante’ for his no-nonsense stance and anti- corruption campaigner was named after an emergency cabinet meeting at the Flagstaff House yesterday.
The announcement follows the receipt of the name of the nominee by the President from the Attorney General Sophia Akuffo, expected to be forwarded to Parliament for approval when the House reconvenes from recess.
The appointment of Amidu, the man credited for introducing the word “gargantuan” into the Ghanaian political lexicon brings to abrupt end weeks of speculation as to who might be named as an officer for the rather controversial office.
The specialized agency will investigate acts of corruption involving public officers, politically exposed persons, and persons in the private sector involved in the commission of corruption.
The office also has the power to prosecute persons engaged in acts of corruption on the authority of the Attorney-General.
Last week, names of two of the President’s lawyer friends who are also partners at the President’s law firm- Philip Addison and Akoto Ampaw were being bandied around as the likely choice for Special Prosecutor.
Addison was rumored to be the deputy for the main man Akoto Ampaw as two key persons in the president’s legal team that challenged at the Supreme Court, the declaration of John Mahama as the winner of the 2012 presidential elections.
But the president seems to have swerved all as Amidu was not among the names rumored for the office.
The President announcing said he has accepted the nominee whose name will forward to parliament.
“I have done so because I am fully convinced that Mr. Martin Amidu, a prominent legal personality who held the high office of Attorney-General of the republic has the requisite integrity, Competence, courage and independence of character to discharge effectively the responsibilities of this new office.”
“We were on opposite sides in a series of landmark constitutional cases in the period leading up to and in the early years of the 4th Republic, well known to students of constitutional law, which helped shape the evolution of the Constitution of the 4th Republic. As Deputy Attorney General, as he then was, he conducted those cases with the fairness which should be a cardinal feature of the conduct of any self-respecting lawyer,” he said.
The President noted further that Mr. Amidu has indicated his willingness to accept the appointment as Special Prosecutor.
“I, thus, have the honour to submit to Parliament, when it reconvenes, the name of Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu, for its approval for appointment as Special Prosecutor,” the President said.
He said Amidu has the relevant professional capability to lead the fight and hold public officials, past and present accountable for their stewardship of public finances, indicating that the enactment of Special Prosecutor Act, Act 663 was the first stage in the as fulfilment of that pledge.
Nana Addo said the Special Prosecutor once confirmed by parliament would carry an extraordinary responsibility independently and impartially to fight corruption.
He noted that the remit of the office is broad and challenging.
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson/ thePublisher