WELCOMING THE NOMINATION OF AMIDU AS SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

PERHAPS, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has surprised Ghanaians, with his nomination for the office of the Special Prosecutor of one of Ghana’s finest legal brains, Martin Amidu, popularly known as “Citizen Vigilante,” a name given him for his tough stand against corruption.

When vetted and approved by Parliament, Mr Amidu is expected to be swiftly sworn into office by the President, to pave the way for him to move into his office; the Office of the Special Prosecutor, to start looking into dossiers.

We are expecting a grueling and interesting vetting session of Mr Amidu by the Appointments Committee of Parliament! Indeed, all for the sake of accountability, probity and transparency; the philosophy he shares as a cadre and revolutionist.

The former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, with the help of the secretariat and the governing board, will begin the mandate of investigating specific cases of corruption, involving public officers and politically exposed persons in the performance of their function, as well as individuals in the private sector, implicated in the commission of corruption and prosecute these offenders on the authority of the Attorney General.

 

Investigations of corruptions are related to offences committed under the Public Procurement Act 2003(Act 633) and Criminal and Other Offences 1960(Act 29).

Announcing his nomination at the Flagstaff house on Thursday, the President remarked, “he has the requisite integrity, competence, courage and independence of character to discharge effectively the responsibilities of this new office.”

As a matter of fact, his nomination has been received with mixed reactions. Some of the phrases used in reacting to his nomination are “fit for the job”, “excited” and “refreshing news.”

The former boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Justice Emile Short, who has a soft spot for Mr Amidu, apparently because of their shared philosophy on corruption, was reported to have remarked “He is a serious  anti-corruption crusader. I know him…and he should be acceptable by all shades of opinion.”

While some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a party he was once the Vice Presidential candidate, are happy others are not.  Those who are happy extolled his virtue while those who are unhappy can easily be identified through their negative utterances. The latter group blame him for playing a part in the defeat of the party in the 2016 general elections.

The former Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga East, Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, said, on an Accra-based radio station that  Mr Amidu campaigned  against NDC in the corners of the New  Patriotic Party during the 2016 electioneering campaign.

Interestingly, the first person to shoot off the block to congratulate Mr. Amidu was the former President J.J. Rawlings, the founder of the NDC party. He expressed his delight, for the nomination of the Citizen Vigilante for the office and expressed the hope that Parliament would approve his nomination. Mr Amidu served under former President Rawlings during the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) administration.

Despite all these mixed reactions, the Ghanaian Times share in the view of the generality of Ghanaians that the President has made a good choice in the interest of the public. It is a master stroke!

Mr Amidu has conducted himself well in both public and private environment; as we have observed him from the days of the revolution in the early 80s when he started as the Deputy Upper Regional Secretary and gone through the mill in the PNDC that transited to become NDC. He also played very important roles in the NDC both in government and opposition.

We recount with appreciation his contribution in the Consultative Council; that drafted the 1992 Constitution and his role in transition from military government to constitutional government.

We believe that by his conduct and his philosophy, he has carved a niche for himself, and therefore, fit for the job. We, however, remind him that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Congratulations to you!

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