The president Nana Akufo-Addo has announced citizen vigilante, Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor for the newly created office of the Independent Prosecutor.
Quoting Section 13(3) of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 663) the law that set up the office of the special prosecutor, the president said he has accepted the choice of the Attorney General and will present to Parliament, the name of Martin Amidu for consideration.
In a brief announcement at the Flagstaff House, Thursday, after a major cabinet meeting, the president commended the public spiritedness of the man widely acclaimed as an anti-corruption crusader, a bulwark in the fight against corruption.
He had religiously quoted justices of the Supreme Court who commended Martin Amidu for his fight against corruption and wanton dissipation of public funds.
Just as the justices, “I can vouch for his spiritedness,” the president said of the man who had been on his opposite side in politics and in the court of law.
If approved by Parliament, and certainly will, given the number of the NPP seats in Parliament, Martin Amidu will stay in office as the Independent Prosecutor for the next seven years.
A former vice presidential candidate for the opposition NDC in the 2000 election, the longest serving Deputy and Attorney General within the same party when it was in government, Martin Amidu has carved a niche for himself as a fearless crusader in the fight against corruption.
In Martin Amidu is a double-edged sword for some members of the NDC whom he had fallen out of favour with and also to some members of the NPP who are likely to engage in misappropriation of funds.
He had, time without number stated in his epistles that his only allegiance is for the people of Ghana and not to any party.
Even when the bill on the setting up of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, Martin Amidu raised a number of key issues, something the president said were considered in fine-tuning the new law which will now be used as a vehicle in the fight against corruption.
Friend or foe to NDC?
The citizen vigilante was sacked as Attorney General in 2012 during the tenure of the late president John Atta Mills after accusing one of the cabinet ministers at the time of engaging in acts of corruption.
He went on as a private citizen to win a landmark judgment debt case involving business man Alfred Woyome, the same case he was pursuing in government before he was sacked for alleged misconduct.
For a case that was pending at the High Court with no hope of getting anywhere, Amidu escalated the case to the Supreme Court as a private citizen and got a conviction against Woyome a financier to the NDC.
The court ruled that the ¢51 million cedis paid to Woyome in 2010 in the name of judgement debt was fraudulently done and instructed Woyome to pay back the amount.
The state has since been following up on it, and the man who began it all will certainly have the last bite of the Woyome cherry.
Special Prosecutor Promise
The president in announcing the appointment said the setting up of the independent prosecutor is a fulfillment of a long-held promise to the people of Ghana to create an independent office of a special prosecutor to help in fighting corruption.
He had long made that promise in the heat of the 2016 election campaign. After winning power the president put together a bill for the setting up of the office which suffered numerous setbacks but later approved by the House.
The president hoped Martin Amidu will do justice in fighting corruption in the country with the new office.
He admitted the task ahead of Amidu is “broad and challenging” but was hopeful he will be able to meet the demands of the office.
Minutes after the announcement of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor, mainstream media, as well as social media have been bubbling with mixed responses.
Former Commissioner at CHRAJ Emile Short, was “pleasantly surprised” by the nomination and commended the president for settling on Amidu. Other anti-graft institutions have also been impressed with the appointment. But the opposition National Democratic Congress is not as happy.
Member of Parliament for South Daye in the Volta Region Rockson Dafeamekpor and former Deputy Attorney General under the John Mahama led government, Dominic Ayine believe Martin Amidu is conflicted.