President Nana Akufo-Addo has named a former Attorney General in the National Democratic Congress [NDC] administration, Martin Amidu, as the Special Prosecutor.
The president made that announcement after an emergency cabinet meeting at the Flagstaff House on Thursday (January 11, 2018).
The appointment comes barely a month after the President assented to the Bill which was passed by Parliament despite a vigorous debate.
Martin Amidu’s name never featured in the possible people to be the first Special Prosecutor in the country, thereby leaving many people shocked after the announcement.
His political affiliations with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) also leaves many with unanswered questions.
However, many people are optimistic the ‘Citizen Vigilante’ will not be compromised in any way.
Nana Akufo-Addo during his campaign in 2016, promised to set up the office of an independent Special Prosecutor aimed at tackling corruption much more vigorously.
The Office will be mandated to investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption under the Public Procurement Act 203 Act 63 and other corruption-related offences implicating public officers, political office holders and their accomplices in the public sector.
The Prosecutor will also be mandated to trace and recover the proceeds of corruption.
The Minority in Parliament raised alarms against the Bill when it was laid on the floor. The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Inusah Fuseini, said the Special Prosecutor could be used for witch-hunts.
Ironically, the man who has now been appointed as the Special Prosecutor punched holes into the Special Prosecutor Bill in a 25-page paper critiquing aspects of the Bill.
He questioned why there was a clause that sought to limit the Special Prosecutor to specific crimes.
“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.”
He also argued that whoever is appointed by the President, as the Special Public Prosecutor will not need parliamentary approval.