Dismiss case against me- Amidu tells Supreme Court

Mr. Amidu

Mr. Amidu

The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has asked the Supreme Court to throw out a suit filed by former Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine, challenging his nomination and approval as Special Prosecutor.
Dr. Ayine filed the suit a day before Mr. Amidu appeared before Parliament’s Appointment Committee for vetting.

Dr. Ayine in his suit stated that Mr. Amidu who had passed the retirement age made him (Amidu) ineligible to hold public office.

However, in his statement, filed Wednesday, the Special Prosecutor prayed the Supreme Court to dismiss the suit stating that it is without merit.

“The second defendant accordingly prays this court to dismiss the plaintiff’s writ and statement of case as being without any merit whatsoever under the 1992 Constitution and Rule 45 of the Supreme Court rules, 1996 (CI 16).”

Amidu further adds that in “answer to paragraph 31 of the Plaintiff’s Statement of Case the second defendant says that Parliament acted within its legislative power under the 1992 Constitution to enact Section 13(5) of Act 959 sui generis to enable the first defendant and the President appoint an experienced, tried and tested lawyer for upwards of 39 years standing at the Bar such as the second defendant to assist the executive authority to exercise or minimise the endemic canker of corruption and corruption related offences which the President contended at the last elections had infected the body politic uncontrollably under the immediate past government under which the Plaintiff was the Deputy Minister for Justice and for which reason the President was overwhelmingly voted by the electorate to be the President of Ghana to execute his electoral promises and mandate.”
Former Deputy Attorney General, Dominic Ayine filed a suit to challenge the nomination of Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor contending that Mr. Amidu being 66 years is too old to hold public office, under which the Special Prosecutor position falls.

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”.

 

 

 

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