Martin Amidu
Martin Amidu

Martin Alamisi Benz Kaiser Amidu is a Ghanaian politician. He was the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice from January 2011 till January 2012. He is the man, who introduced the word ‘gargantuan’, into the lexicon of Ghanaian politics, when he opened the can of worms about the Woyome scandal which was set to be the worst financial scandal in Ghana’s fiscal history at the time.

Martin Amidu
Martin Amidu

Deputy Attorney-General

Amidu served as the Deputy Attorney-General for about the last four years of the Provisional National Defence Council military government. Amidu is a member of the National Democratic Congress(NDC) After civilian rule was established in the Fourth Republic in January 1993, he continued to serve in the government of Jerry Rawlings as Deputy Attorney-General. This he did for both terms lasting eight years until January 2001.

December 2000 presidential election

In the December 2000 presidential elections, he stood as the running mate of John Atta Mills. They both however lost to President John Kufuor that year.

Mills government

Minister for Interior

In January 2010, following a cabinet reshuffle, President Mills replaced Cletus Avoka with Amidu as the Minister for Interior. As Amidu is a Builsa, some people raised questions as to his neutrality in dealing with the Bawku conflict. He however went successfully through vetting by the Parliament of Ghana and has since assumed his post.

Attorney General

Following the second major cabinet reshuffle by President Mills, Amidu became the Attorney general and Minister for Justice of Ghana.

Removal from Office Martin Amidu was relieved of his post on Thursday January 19, 2012 by President John Evans Atta Mills under circumstances described by aids as ‘his misconduct’ at a meeting chaired by the president at the Osu Castle on January 18, 2012. He made allegations related to alleged financial impropriety on the part of another cabinet minister, allegations he was asked by the president to substantiate. Martin Amidu, the former Attorney General, single-handedly challenged the legality of the payments after being relieved off his post at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the money as Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney-General clearance to execute the court’s judgment, ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state. Following the delays in retrieving the money, Mr. Amidu in 2016, filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking to examine Alfred Woyome, on how he would pay back the money, after the Attorney General’s office under the Mahama Administration, led by the former Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, discontinued a similar application. In February 2017 however, Mr. Amidu withdrew his suit seeking an oral examination, explaining that the change of government under the New Patriotic Party under His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo and his Attorney General, Miss Gloria Akuffo’s assurance to retrieve all judgment debts wrongfully paid to individuals Mr. Woyome in response prayed the Supreme Court to stay proceedings on the oral examination since he had filed for a review on the case. His lawyer, Ken Anku, argued that, his client will face an irreparable damage if the oral examination is allowed to take place but the deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, opposed the application, describing the reasons as incompetent and unmeritorious according citifmonline.

He is Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor nominated for confirmation from Parliament . The nomination was announced by the President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo today the 11th January, 2018.

Martin Amidu unhappy with ‘flaws’ in Special Prosecutor Bill

In September 2017, Mr. Amidu expressed displeasure with the consultative processes leading up to the laying of the Bill among others.

He therefore wrote to exposed what can be described as flaws in the Special Prosecutor Bill 2017, which aims at setting up a separate office to deal with issues of corruption.

In a 25-page critique of the Bill, Mr Amidu said: “The attempt to distinguish types of corruption offences that may be investigated and prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor sends the clear message to Ghanaians that the President and his Government now accept that certain types of corruption offences are not serious for prosecution or at least to be prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor.

“Fourth, the question may be asked, who will be responsible for investigating and prosecuting categories of corruption offences by the same public officers and politically exposed persons not meeting the standards in Clause 3 (4), or are they then immune from prosecution for such corruption offences?”

“Will somebody call the President’s attention to read Clause 3 of the Bill before Parliament and confirm whether or not he endorsed the exception in sub-clause 4 for submission to Parliament? The retention of sub-clause 4 of Clause 3 of the Bill will make it unnecessary to enact any Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill into law.”

“I have no doubt that the insertion of Clause 3 (4) that negates the whole Bill before Parliament was done by a strong and powerful cabal which wishes to harvest its share of the proceeds of corruption that comes with public officers who find their way into public office through the deception of the appointing authority of rendering service with integrity to the Republic. The insertion of Clause 3 (4) in the Bill is therefore a wake-up call for the President to watch his so-called incorruptible appointees because as the saying goes, it is not all that glitters which is gold.”

“I am fortified in the belief that the attempt to pull a fast one on Ghanaians by the insertion of Clause 3 (4) of the Bill to negate the fight against corruption is the work of a strong and powerful cabal within the government because they succeeded in ensuring that the Memorandum to the Bill was silent on this important matter so that it will not catch the eye of the casual Ghanaian reading public.”

The Office of a Special Prosecutor was a major campaign promise of Nana Akufo-Addo while he was the opposition candidate in the December 2016 elections.

While many have said that the office would be a duplication of roles, because there are agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Economic and Organised Crime Office that are responsible for investigating corruption, others have praised its implementation and called on the president to make it truly independent of political interference.

Meanwhile, Mr. Amidu is not pleased with the consultative processes leading up to the laying of the Bill among other things.

Source-Newsghana.com.gh

 

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