Don’t use Special Prosecutor for witch-hunting – NDC cautions Amidu

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has cautioned against the nomination of Martin A.B.K Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, stating that the post must not be used to carry out hatchet jobs for the NPP administration.

The one-time flagbearer running mate of the late President John Mills was nominated to the post of Special Prosecutor by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in January.

The anti-corruption campaigner is set to face Parliament’s Appointment Committee on Tuesday, February 13 for vetting.

A statement signed by the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia stated that the nomination of Martin Amidu should have been thoroughly thought through since he is on record to have challenged the constitutionality of the newly established Office.

The statement also stated that the office of the Special Prosecutor must not be seen as a political outpost for witch-hunting or the performance of hatchet jobs for an incumbent administration.

“Our issue with the nomination of Mr. Martin Amidu is based purely and solely on important matters of principle. We note among others that Mr. Amidu has previously published a document challenging the constitutionality of the newly established Office of Special Prosecutor, the very office he has accepted to occupy.

“We believe that it is in the supreme national interest that the appointment of the person to head such an important institution be carefully thought through, that above all such an individual should enjoy the respect and confidence of all sides of the polity, and must have the impartiality and objectivity of a judge and the integrity of a clergyman.

“The office must not be seen or treated as a political outpost for witch-hunting or the performance of hatchet jobs for an incumbent administration. That would most definitely lead to needless socio-political tensions and national instability,” the statement read.

Below is the full statement

STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) ON THE SCHEDULED VETTING OF MR. MARTIN AMIDU TO THE

OFFICE OF SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

The Office of Special Prosecutor has recently been setup, and Mr. Martin Amidu a former Attorney General and one-time NDC running mate for Professor Atta Mills nominated as Special Prosecutor.

As a party with rich knowledge of the workings of machinery of state, we respect all national institutions including especially those that are designed to assure good governance, probity, accountability and judicious use of the country’s resources.

We note that the Office of the Special Prosecutor adds to already existing institutions performing similar functions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Criminal and Investigations Department of the Police Service (CID), Parliament’s Oversight Committees and indeed the Office of Public Prosecutions which falls under the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Office.

We observe that after falling out with the NDC administration, Mr. Martin Amidu was allowed free rein to express his opinions without let or hindrance, something he did by openly castigating and issuing threats to the NDC and its leadership. We are not at all concerned, contrary to the insinuations of some that he should now to be handed the full authority of state power to possibly pursue this agenda.

Our issue with the nomination of Mr. Martin Amidu is based purely and solely on important matters of principle. We note among others that Mr. Amidu has previously published a document challenging the constitutionality of the newly established Office of Special Prosecutor, the very office he has accepted to occupy.

We believe that it is in the supreme national interest that the appointment of the person to head such an important institution be carefully thought through, that above all such an individual should enjoy the respect and confidence of all sides of the polity, and must have the impartiality and objectivity of a judge and the integrity of a clergyman.

The office must not be seen or treated as a political outpost for witch-hunting or the performance of hatchet jobs for an incumbent administration. That would most definitely lead to needless socio-political tensions and national instability.

Article 296 (a) and (b) of the 1992 Constitution states that where discretionary power is vested in any person or authority (as in the case of a Special Prosecutor)

  1. That discretionary power shall be deemed to imply a duty to be fair and candid
  2. The exercise of the discretionary power shall not be arbitrary. Capricious or biased whether by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike and shall be in accordance with due process of law.

The NDC therefore expects that when the time comes for the vetting of the nominee for the position of Special Prosecutor, Parliament will discharge its obligation mindful of the above constitutional provisions. In the interest of good governance, accountability, probity and fair play we urge that the national debate and the forthcoming vetting of the nominee be guided by these principles and not by the rather shrill partisanship that we have begun to witness among the rather predictable sections of the political spectrum.

Finally, we wish to state that the NDC remains committed to the fight against corruption both in respect of the past and even more especially the present.

Sign

Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah

General Secretary.

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