Too old for public office: Martin Amidu missing as court grants Ayine request to amend case
A FORMER Deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Dr Dominic Ayine, has been granted leave to amend his case challenging the constitutionality of the appointment of Mr Martin Alamisi Kaiser Burns Amidu as Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor.
At the last sitting on Thursday, April 19, an attempt by lawyers for the former Deputy Attorney-General to file a supplementary statement of case was dismissed, after Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame had argued that the procedure was alien to the practice in court.
In court yesterday, Mr Amidu was missing when the motion on notice of Dr Ayine was moved by his lead counsel, Mr Tony Lithur, to amend his statement of case, which was granted.
The applicant’s application was not opposed by the respondents, including Mr Amidu. Though he was not in court, he wrote to the court about his position.
Single Supreme Court judge, Justice Gabriel Pwamang, ordered the applicant to file his amended statement of case in seven days, while the respondents also file their amended statement of case within 14 days upon service by the applicant.
Amidu too old
Dr Ayine, also a Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East, in his lawsuit, contended that Mr Amidu, 66 years of age, is too old to hold public office, under which the Special Prosecutor’s office falls.
Mr Lithur, while arguing his case, said the apex court had the power to accept the procedure they had adopted by way of seeking to file their supplementary statements of case instead of amending them.
Mr Lithur, upon the instructions of the MP, filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the eligibility of the Special Prosecutor nominee, Mr Amidu.
The applicant is also, among other things, 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 60 years, anyhow not beyond (65).”
The 26-page document filed at the registry of the apex court further argued that, “any other interpretation would result in an unlawful amendment of Article 199 of the Constitution by legislation.”
According to him, using the same sections of the constitution, “no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1) (d).”
He added that, “by reason of his age, 66 years, Mr Amidu is not qualified or eligible to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor under section 13 article three of the office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959).”
He prayed that in the event, “Amidu has already been vetted and approved by Parliament and or appointed by His Excellency, the President of the Republic, as the Special Prosecutor under section 13.3 of the office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959) prior to the final determination of his suit, an order annulling such nomination, approval and appointment [should be the case].”