Age eligibility suit: Martin Amidu fit for Special Prosecution – Supreme Court declares

By a 5-2 majority decision, the Supreme Court has (SC) stated that Special Prosecutor (SP), Mr Alamisi Burns Kaizer Martin Amidu, is fit to hold public office.

A former Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Dr Dominic Ayine Akurutinga, sued the Attorney General and challenged the eligibility of Mr Amidu, 68, to hold public office.

The law maker wanted the SC to nullify the approval of the SP, who was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and consequently remove him from office because Mr Amidu is above the statutory age of employment into public service.

But, a judgement delivered yesterday, by a seven-member panel of the SC presided by the Chief Justice Kwesi Anin Yeboah, dismissed the application.

Justices Yeboah, Maaful Sau, Professor Nii Ashie Kotei, Nene Amegatcher and Paul Baffoe-Bonnie upheld the eligibility of the SP, while Justices Sule Gbadegbe and Agnes Dodzie dissented. 

The court did not assign any reason for its decision, but asked the parties to apply for certified copies of the judgement by the close of work today.

On February 4, 2019, the apex court struck out Amidu, as a defendant.
A seven-member panel of judges, then presided by Justice Julius Ansah, said the SP is not a “proper party” in the suit brought against the A-G by Dr Akurutinga.

Both the A-G, being represented by Godfred Yeboah Dame, a Deputy A-G, and Mr Tony Lithur, counsel for the plaintiff, were in court.

The plaintiff, has argued 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 offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1)(d) is sixty (60) years, anyhow not beyond sixty-five (65) years.

He argued that by reason of Mr Amidu’s age (68 years), he is not qualified or eligible to be nominated as the SP under section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Dr Ayine stated 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 offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1)(d) is sixty (60) years, anyhow not beyond sixty-five (65) years.

The plaintiff wanted 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 offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1)(d) is sixty (60) years, anyhow not beyond sixty-five (65) years.

Dr Ayine wanted the court to declare that by a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1)(d), 199(1), 199(4) of the 1992 Constitution, no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1) (d);c).


Speaking to journalists after court proceedings, Dr Akurutinga, the Bolgatanga Central legislator, said he was extremely surprised at the judgement.

He said the judgement would set a bad precedent where people who had retired at the age of 60 and the voluntary age of appointment on contract of 65 years are recruited into public office.

This, Dr Akurutinga observed, would affect young people, who ought to be given the opportunity to serve their country.

“I don’t want us to come back re-arguing our case. I don’t think we will be thinking of a review,” he stated when asked if he would apply for a review of the court’s decision.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA 

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