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Special Prosecutor Attorney General defends suit against Martin Amidu

The AG said the suit is born "out of a narrow, inadequate and literal construction of the scope of application of Chapter 24 of the Constitution".

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Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo play

Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo

The Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo, has asked the Supreme court to dismiss a suit challenging the nomination of Martin Amidu for the position of Special Prosecutor.

She said the suit is born "out of a narrow, inadequate and literal construction of the scope of application of Chapter 24 of the Constitution".

In a statement, signed on behalf of the A-G by her deputy, Godred Yeboah Dame, said public servants compulsorily retired at the age of 60, with a further possibility of extension of their years of service under Article 199 (4) and that not all public officials were caught by the compulsory retirement age of 60.

READ MORE: Martin Amidu challenged to also declare his assets

Martin Amidu play

Martin Amidu

Prior to Martin Amidu's appointment, former deputy Attorney-General, Dr. Dominic Ayine, filed a suit to challenge the nomination.

He contends that Mr. Amidu, being 66 years of age, is too old to hold public office, under which the Special Prosecutor’s position falls.

He is seeking a declaration that “by a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1)(d), 199(1), 199(4), and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retirement age of all holders of public office created pursuant to Article(1)(d) is sixty years, anyhow not beyond (65)."

He argued in his writ that, "any other interpretation would result in an unlawful amendment of Article 199 of the Constitution by legislation."

But the AG has put up a spirited defence in favour of Amidu as the Special Prosecutor.

Dominic Anyine, Bolga East MP and former deputy Attorney-General play

Dominic Anyine, Bolga East MP and former deputy Attorney-General

 

The state is, therefore, praying the court to hold that the position of Special Prosecutor is a public office (organ) like the Statute Law Revision Commissioner, not caught by the retiring age prescriptions in Article 199.

READ ALSO: Nana Addo doing nothing to fight corruption - Mahama's Advisor

"It is submitted that to place the constraints of age on a person who exercises prosecutorial powers when the Constitution has not specifically provided for same is plainly untenable," the statement added.

The A-G further submitted that by the combined effect of articles 88 (4) and 298 of the 1992 Constitution, the enactment of Act 959 to provide for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor on a non-renewable seven-year tenure and the subsequent appointment of Mr Amidu to that office were within the rightful legislative competence of Parliament.

She prayed the court to give full force and effect to the powers of Parliament, as the legislative body of Ghana, to provide for all matters, except as are not in contravention of, or inconsistent with, the 1992 Constitution.

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