Opinion: Akufo-Addo’s Nomination of Martin Amidu as SP Is without Prejudice – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Mr. Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu, Ghana’s designated Special Prosecutor

There is absolutely no evidence, whatsoever, that during the 7, or so, years that Mr. Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu was literally ostracized by the key operatives of the then-ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), that the likes of the party’s General-Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, supported the newly nominated Independent Special Public Prosecutor either financially or morally. And so one simply does not know what to make of Mr. Asiedu-Nketia’s rather jaundiced public remark that the executive operatives of the main opposition National Democratic Congress do not intend to congratulate Mr. Amidu, a longtime bona fide executive member of the NDC who once served as the running-mate of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, on the former’s nomination to the post of Special Prosecutor by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (See “NDC Will Never Congratulate Martin Amidu – Mosquito” Starrfmonline.com / Modernghana.com 1/12/18).

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We shall make time to further comment on the preceding categorical statement of ill-will from the man popularly known as General Mosquito. For now, however, it bears discussing some of the salient reasons given by the President for settling on Mr. Amidu, instead of his longtime friend and professional protégé and associate, Mr. Akoto Ampaw. That the nomination of Mr. Amidu for the cardinal post of Independent Special Prosecutor caught the overwhelming bulk of the leadership of the main opposition National Democratic Congress completely off-guard, is all the more to be commended, if also because the official nomination of Mr. Akoto Ampaw, should President Akufo-Addo have settled on the latter, would predictably have ignited a firestorm of protest and been deviously used by the opposition to seriously undermine both the credibility and integrity of the Office of the Public Prosecutor. And it would have been extremely difficult for the Flagstaff House to have parried off flagrant charges of nepotism and witch-hunting.

In settling on Mr. Amidu, Nana Akufo-Addo achieved two important things, namely, he settled on a man who had spent a considerable span of his career establishing his credentials as a rabid anti-corruption crusading statesman, rather than a party ideologue or machine operative. By doing so, Mr. Amidu has impeccably established his credentials as one who has absolutely no bounden obligation to toeing any party line, be the latter that of the National Democratic Congress or that of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). For such objective and laudable assessment and nomination of the man, equal credit ought to be accorded Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo (See “Akufo-Addo’s Statement on Special Prosecutor Announcement” Ultimatefmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 1/12/18). It is also significant to note that nearly everybody who matters in both the country’s legal profession and political landscape has unreservedly lauded the decision.

My only minor beef with the President’s expectations of what the Special Prosecutor’s focus ought to be is the insistent emphasis on financial malfeasance. But I am also quite certain that Mr. Amidu brings a broader perspective to the job and one that clearly recognizes the fact that corruption categories entail far more than obvious financial acts of criminality. The nominee himself noted this much in the 25-page memo that he submitted to the Attorney-General, explaining precisely why the purview of the Special Prosecutor needed to be realistically broadened to encompass other non-financial but equally criminal acts of corruption.

But that Mr. Amidu’s nomination by President Akufo-Addo is without prejudice is clearly reflected in the Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House’s observation that he had ample time to observe the remarkable professionalism of Mr. Amidu, while the latter performed as perhaps the longest-serving Deputy Attorney-General in both the Rawlings-led junta of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) and the democratically elected National Democratic Congress. In other words, in Special Prosecutor Amidu, Ghanaians have a tried and tested professional who comes to the job with an enviable wealth of the kind of experience needed to fight the carcinogenic rot that has taken a total grip of our political culture.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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