Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has disclosed that he was once overpaid during his time as deputy Attorney-General, but he offered to return the money to the state.
According to him, taking double salaries constitutes an abuse of office for personal gain, which is punishable by law.
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His comments come after some former MPs of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who served as ministers or deputy ministers were cited by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for allegedly taking double salaries.
The number of cited MPs was initially 25, however, 18 of them were let go pending further investigation by the Police.
Also, about eight of the suspected MPs have already been interrogated by the CID, as authorities seek to get to the bottom of the matter.
However, speaking in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Mr. Amidu said the allegations could be true because he once received double salary during his time as deputy Attorney-General, adding that he did the honorable thing by returning the excess amount.
According to him, the suspected Minority MPs should also have returned the amount when they realized that their salaries had been doubled.
He said there is no excuse for such an act, describing it as “an offence of abuse of office for private gain”.
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“Money was ever paid into my account…When my bank notified me I told them to return it because that is not what me and the Attorney General agreed. I could have kept it,” the Special Prosecutor said.
“This is what they should have done. You don’t keep the money for six months, one year, two years or three years, you’ve left office, one and half years, you’ve not made any efforts to return it. Then when the CID begins seeing it now you are rationalizing it and yet when the ordinary man takes plantain one bunch, he goes to jail for 15 years. So what is the political elite telling us?”“If it’s been happening since 1992 and no one has seen it, now it has been seen, those responsible should bear the consequence,” he added.
He further stated that he would not compromise in prosecuting any MP that is caught up in this scandal, saying he would not have the conscience to prosecute the ordinary Ghanaian if he spares the culprits in this case.