Special Prosecutor nominee Martin Amidu has revealed, political pressure halted the prosecution of interdicted public officials while he was Attorney-General.
Martin Amidu said he was told that “orders from above” had forbidden the prosecution of the Chief Fire Officer, William Brown-Quaye and two of his deputies, Stephen Kandure and Cornelius Woedi.
It was Lawra NPP MP, Anthony Karbo who brought up the matter at the Appointments Committee vetting the President’s nominee tasked to fight political corruption.
He said, in 2010 while Martin Amidu was Interior Minister, he interdicted the officials accused of procurement irregularities by Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
But he failed to prosecute these persons when he had the opportunity to do so after he was moved to the Attorney-General’s Department.
Amidu was given the opportunity to explain his inaction.
He suggested that as a former Interior Minister at the time he felt uncomfortable to take up the matter in his new position as Attorney-General.
“I thought that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would handle that matter,” he said.
The DPP, he said, later informed him that the case had tribal undertones. The Chief Fire Officer, William Brown-Quaye was also a cousin to the then President, the late John Evans Atta Mills.
The DPP later told him she had been directed not to proceed with the prosecutions.
The deputy Attorney-General Ebo Barton Oduro took the three dockets from the DPP which signaled an end to the prosecutions.
“If I didn’t prosecute them that was because it is impossible to” he ended his submission. He said he did not want to create confusion by fighting with his deputy over the matter.
Ebo Barton Oduro
He said being an anti-corruption advocate does not make him “foolhardy”.
Martin Amidu has said the problem of Ghanaian society is that public officials have been too timid to challenge the status quo.
Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak questioned the nominee’s ability to withstand political pressure following his ability to challenge the “orders from above”.