What you need to know about Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor

Martin Amidu was named by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Special Prosecutor.

He is the man, who introduced the word 'gargantuan', into the lexicon of Ghanaian politics, when he opened the can of worms about businessman Alfred Woyome scandal which was set to be the worst financial scandal in the fiscal history at the time.

On January 11, 2018, Martin Amidu was named by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Special Prosecutor for the newly created Office of the Special Prosecutor.


Educational background

After elementary school, he gained admission to a private educational institution in Tamale housed in makeshift structures and designated a commercial school by its founder and headmaster, Mr Ben Gogoe.

As some years, Amidu was obsessed with books but especially political science books. He fed ravenously on Marx and Engels.

After law school, he like many young intellectuals of the time who had the outlook of 'progressives', drifted into the emerging leftist politics of the June Four Movement.


Amidu graduated from the University of Ghana in 1976 with an LLB (Hons) and the Ghana Law School in 1978 with a Barrister/Solicitor at Law (BL) degree.

He also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Conflict Resolution from the Antioch University, Ohio, USA.

Life in politics

Martin Amidu joined the NDC in 1992.

Amidu served as the Deputy Attorney-General for about the last four years of the Provisional National Defence Council military government.


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.

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

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 assumed his post.

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

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 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 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-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.

Amidu is married and has three adult children living in Ghana and the UK.

Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor to fight corruption

The Special Prosecutor, as the Act says in its preamble, ‘shall have full authority and control over the investigation, initiation and conduct of proceedings of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption involving public officers and politically exposed persons in the performance of their functions as well as persons in the private sector involved in the commission of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption related offences.

The remit of the office as you can see, is broad and is challenging. The Attorney General, has by a letter dated Thursday 11th January, 2018 of today’s date addressed to me, exercises the power of nomination and submitted to me for my acceptance, the name of the proposed Special Prosecutor.


The Prosecutor is also mandated to trace and recover the proceeds of corruption.


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