Opinion: Amidu Should Not Compromise His Integrity by Working with a Morally Discredited Aremeyaw Anas – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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

It has been said times without number that “Birds of Same Feathers Flock Together.” That was the first maxim that flashed across my mind, when I saw the news story captioned “Anas Reveals ‘Secret’ Pact with Martin Amidu to Fight Corruption” (See Yen.com.gh / Ghanaweb.com 3/11/18). I felt a bit iffy about the report which also claimed that the newly-appointed Independent Special Public Prosecutor, Mr. Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu, intended to collaborate with Ghana’s most famous investigative journalist cum professionally trained lawyer to root out corruption, or at least drastically reduce the same, throughout the country.

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I felt a bit iffy because not very long ago, Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas bizarrely collaborated with then-President John Dramani Mahama, unarguably Fourth-Republican Ghana’s most corrupt and payola-prone leader, to expose what was alleged to be rank corruption among the members of the bench, or the judiciary, using his very popular investigative team called Tiger-Eye PI, or some such stylish corporate designation. At the time, Mr. Anas was reported to have been severely carped by the man then nicknamed “The Citizen Vigilante” for having flagrantly breached his professional watchdog principles as a journalist.

Such difference of opinion is not the crux or thrust of this column, for I also have some differences with the Independent Special Public Prosecutor, even when I have also glowingly lauded his yeomanly efforts at facilitating the relentless onslaught against official corruption in the country. In the main, such differences revolve around Mr. Amidu’s virtually fetishistic or religious veneration of Chairman Jerry John Rawlings as a man of “Integrity, Transparency, Probity, Accountability and Justice,” when it comes to forcefully fighting corruption in the country. Remember that it took nearly twenty years for Chairman Rawlings to admit of having taken a payola amount of some $ 5 million of the Nigerian taxpayer’s money from the late Gen. Sani Abacha.

I have also quickly pointed out that even not the best among us, humans, is a perfect fit for the cardinal sub-cabinet appointment of Independent Special Public Prosecutor. We must also quickly point out that Mr. Amidu once served as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, having also, thanks to Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, served as the longest-performing Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister of Justice. The Upper-East native also once narrowly missed becoming the substantive Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana. And so in a real sense of the expression, Mr. Martin Amidu has seen it all.

My grievance with Mr. Anas, for which the latter, in fact, received a good and well-deserved dressing down from Mr. Amidu, is that in deciding to secretly collaborate with Mr. Mahama to expose judicial corruption, the ace investigative journalist rather unwisely allowed himself to be blindsided by the former President, by conspicuously and flagrantly ignoring the fact that, in fact, the membership of the executive arm of government, including his own patron in the case of his judicial exposé, was unarguably far more corrupt than the goat-, yam- and chicken-receiving members of the bench.

At any rate, to his laudable credit, Mr. Mahama once asked a BBC reporter whether the latter wanted to know the fact of whether as Vice-President of Ghana he had succumbed to receiving kickbacks, or whether he had succumbed to the same in the wake of him becoming the substantive President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana. Apparently, the Bole-Bamboi native had absolutely no qualms admitting to “Option-A,” even though he also clearly appeared to be visibly shaken by the query posed in “Option-B.”

Well, even as Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the well-known businessman and firebrand operative of the now-ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), would readily admit without even the benefit of interrogation, the members of our legislature are far more prone to payola solicitation and reception than the memberships of the other two arms of government. This is no epic revelation at all, for in Ghana there is practically no clear-cut distinction between the membership of the executive and that of the legislature, especially when any one of the two major political parties happens to be at the helm of our national affairs. What the allegedly prospective or intended collaboration between the Independent Special Public Prosecutor and the Tiger-Eye PI corporate CEO simply means is that in the end, some heavyweight fraudsters, thieves and scam-artists would be apt to gleefully escaping with their long-held loots.

For instance, an old friend and recently retired librarian called to ask me, just a couple of days ago, a question that I found to be purely rhetorical. “Do you really think or believe that Martin Amidu has the cojones to bring Mr. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu, to book?” Well, my predictable and equally resigned riposte to big brother Charles Owusu was tersely as follows: “The real taste of Tuozaafi is in the eating, or not so?” In other words, it is only a matter of time before the full-heft and height of the newly-appointed Independent Special Public Prosecutor could be accurately gauged. For now, though, about all that any critic or skeptic can do is to cross his or her fingers and wait with bated breath. Don’t ask me whether I am holding my breath on this count or not. After all, didn’t Jesus Christ of Nazareth dare s/he who is without sin to cast…. Dear reader, you just complete the rest for me.

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

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