President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should appoint a new Special Prosecutor before the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections following the resignation of Martin Amidu from that position, Justice Emile Short, a former Commissioner of the Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has suggested.
Justice Short told TV3’s Thomas Adotei Pappoe in an exclusive interview that “My expectation is that the president might appoint someone else to replace him before the elections.”
He further indicated that Mr Amidu should not have resigned as Special Prosecutor in spite of the challenges he claimed he was facing.
According to him, the Act that established the office of the special prosecutor, Act, 2017 (Act 959), gave him the power to have ignored any orders or interference from anyone including the president.
Therefore, he said, there was no need for him to have resigned on the heels of alleged interference by the President.
Mr Amidu resigned on Monday, November 16, citing a number of reasons for his resignation.
He said in his letter to the president that “It is essential for me to state for the purpose of the records, and contrary to public perceptions, that my appointment letter was received on 5th February 2020 (almost two (2)-years after my appointment).
“The copy addressees made no efforts to honour any of the conditions of appointment in terms of emoluments and benefits of the appointment ever since my warrant of appointment was issued on 23rd February 2018 to the date of my letter of resignation. The Deputy Special Prosecutor has also not been paid any emoluments since her appointment, and there is the need to redress that situation for her now that I am out of the way.
“The events of 12th November 2020 removed the only protection I had from the threats and plans directed at me for undertaking the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption assessment report and dictates that I resign as the Special Prosecutor immediately. “I should not ordinarily be announcing my resignation to the public myself but the traumatic experience I went through from 20th October 2020 to 2nd November 2020 when I conveyed in a thirteen (13) page letter the conclusions and observations on the analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment on the Report On Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions and Other Matters Related Thereto to the President as Chairman of the National Security Council cautions against not bringing my resignation as the Special Prosecutor with immediate to the notice of the Ghanaian public and the world.
“The reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption. My position as the Special Prosecutor has consequently become clearly untenable.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has, however, vehemently denied interfering with the work of Mr Amidu.
“Your accusation of interference with your functions simply on account of the meeting the president held with you is perplexing.
“In exercise of what you considered to be your powers under Act 959, you had voluntarily proceeded to produce the Agyapa Report.
“The president had no hand in your work. Without prompting from any quarter within the Executive. you delivered a letter purporting to be a copy of you report to the president.
“The purpose of presenting a copy of the Agyapa report to the president is decipherable from paragraph 32 of your letter to the president in which you indicated that you hoped the report will be ‘used to improve current and future legislative and executive actions to make corruption and corruption-related offences very high-risk enterprise in Ghana’,” the president said in a statement responding to the accusation against him by Mr Amidu who resigned from his post on Monday.
Sharing his perspectives on this development, Justice Emile Short said “The president’s letter indicates that the only occasion of which Mr Martin Amidu could have claimed that he interfered was regard to the Agyapa deal where Mr Amidu alleges that the president said he should hold on for a week. If this is what Mr Amidu considers as interference, I don’t really think that that is the kind of interference which will warrant his resignation.
“Even though the Special Prosecutor has indicated in his letter of resignation that he felt that the president was interfering in his work, the Act grants him the power to exercise his functions without reference to anybody.
“And in even if someone else is giving him instructions he has the power to ignore those directives and to proceed with investigations and prosecution.”