General News of Fri, 12 Jan 2018107
9 people who should be scared by Martin Amidu's appointment as Special Prosecutor
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday, January 11, 2018 nominated Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin A.B.K. Amidu for the position of Special Prosecutor pending parliamentary approval.
As a former minister, his appointment is expected to be approved by Parliament, barring any unforseen circumstances, when it recovenes on January 23.
While his appointment has excited a section of Ghanaians, including top politicians like former President J.J. Rawlings, some are definitely not happy about it and some may even be scared because of the potentital of them facing possible prosecution. Here are some of the people YEN.com.gh believes should be worried, if not scared about Mr Amidu's new role:
1. Alfred Agbesi Woyome:
The story of Alfred Woyome has been told on countless occassions. He was paid GHC51.2 million by the J.E.A. Mills government over some contract which was cancelled by the Kufuor government.
Mr Amidu, after becoming the Attorney General in 2011 objected to the payments sanctioned his predecessor and tried to retrieve the money but it led to him being releived of his position.
He, as a private person, petitioned the Supreme Court and got a ruling that the payment was illegal and thus Mr Woyome must refund the money which he has refused to do and led Mr Amidu to again go to court in order to orally examine Mr Woyome over his assets in order to auction them to retrieve the amount.
With such history, Mr Woyome should definitely be scared of Mr Amidu's appoinment as he now has the power of the state to chase him for the money.
2 Dzifa Attivor
The former Minister of Transport in the John Mahama government resigned her position in 2015 after news of a controversial contract broke.
In what came to be as the 'Bus Branding Scandal', she supervised her minsitry giving a contract to re-brand 116 Metro Mass buses with pictures of Presidents of the 4th Republic at a cost of GHC3.6 million.
What was intriguing about the contract was that, apart from it being awarded to Smarttys Productions, a company owned by Selassie Ibrahim, wife of a leading member of the NDC, the whole contract was just captured on a one-page document.
Indeed Madam Attivor herself knew of the trouble if the NDC lost power and she went down on her knees during campaign time telling Voltarians to vote massively in order for her not to be jailed. She must be peeing in her pants with Mr Amidu's appointment.
3. Julius Debrah:
A former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Debrah, in February replaced Prosper Bani as the Chief of Staff, all in the John Mahama government.
Just about a year after his government left office, he was cited for inflating a contract with by as much as $31 million.
The facts of the matter as reported in the media is that, Mr Debrah, in 2014, while acting as the Minister for Local Government sole sourced a contract to five companies belonging to Jospong Group to supply one million waste bins and 900,000 bin liners at a cost which was over GHC100 more than the market price.
One thing that raised eyebrows was the fact that the same ministry had ordered 155,000 bins before and had taken possession of only 100,500 saying the did not have a space to keep the remainder which had been left in the care of the supplier. This definitely calls for a probe and Mr Debrah will likely have to face Mr Amidu to answer some questions.
4: Dr Stephen Opuni:
The immediate past CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is one of the NDc appointees to have suffered most over allegations of corruption since power changed hands in 2017.
He has had to visit the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) on many occassions that we have lost count of. It was even reproted that his assest have been frozen by EOCO.
No value has been put on his 'crimes' yet but he has been accused of giving out a lot of contentious contracts and a leading member of the NPP and MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong has vowed to ensure that he goes to jail.
The appointment of Mr Amidu as Special Prosecutor will definitely not be good news for him.
5: Ernest Thompson:
So we all know of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Operational Business Suite (OBS) scandal in which SSNIT purchased an OBS (pension mangement software) for $34 million which later ballooned to $72 million within 24 months.
The OBS, it later emerged, was not fully operational and that SSNIT's General Manager at the time of the purchase, 'Dr' Caleb Afaglo had secured his job with fake degrees.
All these happened under the then Director-General, Ernest Thompson he once defended the purchase of the OBS which many experts suggest was exorbitant. He definitely seems like a sure candidate to visit Mr Amidu.
6: Dr Kwabena Donkor:
The former Minister of Power under President John Mahama who resigned after he failed to stop 'dumsor' as promised signed the AMERI power deal in 2015 for the supply of 300 megawatts of emergency power.
The $510 million deal has been well criticised by the NPP and civil society groups including African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) and IMANI Africa as being to the disadvange to Ghana.
Apart from the many disadvantages like Ghana providing gas to power the generators and Ghana having to pay a monthly fee even if power is not produced, there have been reports that the whole deal was inflated by about $150 million. This definitely calls for some probe as it looks like Dr Donkor was desperate to meet his deadline of stopping 'dumsor' in order not to resign. And who better to do that than Martin Amidu?
7: Ken Ofori-Atta:
The current Finance Minister has been indicted by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for breaching some regulations during the issuance of the $2.25 billion bond.
Though CHRAJ ruled out any conflict of interest in the issuance of the bonds, there have been a section of Ghanaians who have been concerned about the breaches he committed which led the Commission give clear directives as to how to go about such bonds next time. If Maritn Amidu is going to be given the independence that we expect, he would most likely take a look at the bond issue again and that would even make his office look fairer.
8: Betty Mould-Iddrisu:
She was the Attorney General in the Woyome scandal and if the payment has been described by the Supreme Court as fraudulent, then the person who sanctioned the payment must answer some questions.
Indeed Mr Amidu has always maintained that those in the Attorney General's office including State Attorneys who had something to do with the case colluded to pay the money and must therefore be punished. So, Mrs Mould-Iddrisu should know where she stands if Mr Amidu decides to pursue the Woyome case.
9: John Mahama
The former President has been concerned about the Special Prosecutor role and immediately President Nana Akufo-Addo assented to the act creating the office, he had reason to ask NDC supporters to sympathise with his appointees who may be prosecuted.
Per Ghana's laws, we do not expect that Mr Mahama will be hauled before a special prosecutor or court over allegations but with many appointees possibly facing the secial prosecutor, it paints his administration and even the whole NDC in a bad light of corrpution. So he may not be scared with the appointment of Mr Amidu, who has not hidden his lack of love for him, but he definitely must be worried.