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Why did we rush to set up the Special Prosecutor's office? - Kwesi Pratt queries

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Thu, 19 Nov 2020 Source:

Seasoned Journalist Kwesi Pratt Jnr. has backed Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu's resignation.

Mr. Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu announced his resignation yesterday.

Reasons for Resignation

He forwarded his resignation letter to the President citing lack of operational independence as one of his reasons.

''The one condition upon which I accepted to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor when you invited me to your Office on 10th January 2018 was your firm promise to me that you will respect and ensure same by your Government for my independence and freedom of action as the Special Prosecutor,” he stated.

"I should not ordinarily be announcing my resignation to the public myself but the traumatic experience I went through from 20th October 2020 to 2nd November 2020 when I conveyed in a thirteen (13) page letter the conclusions and observations on the analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment on the Report On Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions and Other Matters Related Thereto to the President as Chairman of the National Security Council cautions against not bringing my resignation as the Special Prosecutor with immediate to the notice of the Ghanaian public and the world . . .

. . The events of 12th November 2020 removed the only protection I had from the threats and plans directed at me for undertaking the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption assessment report and dictates that I resign as the Special Prosecutor immediately. Fear is the enemy of change and I am prepared from the vacuum created on 12th November 2020 to meet the threats of my demise as the price to pay for serving my country without fear or favour affection or ill will. I acted professionally throughout in the discharge of my duties and my conscience is the anchor of my strength to face any consequences."

He also revealed his appointment letter was given to him in February 2020 which means two years after his appointment by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

He further stated that he and his Deputy have not received their salaries since assuming office two years ago.

“It is essential for me to state for the purpose of the records, and contrary to public perceptions, that my appointment letter was received on 5th February 2020 (almost two (2)-years after my appointment). The copy addressees made no efforts to honour any of the conditions of appointment in terms of emoluments and benefits of the appointment ever since my warrant of appointment was issued on 23rd February 2018 to the date of my letter of resignation. I accepted the offer on 10th January 2018 to be nominated to be Special Prosecutor because Mr. President, and Ghanaians knew I have been an anti-corruption crusader all my life and not an anti-corruption entrepreneur.

''This explains why I have never put the emoluments and benefits of the Office as central to my commitment and my passion for the establishment of an independent, effective, efficient and impartial anti-corruption Office of the Special Prosecutor before the end of the first term of Mr. President. This has not been possible for several reasons. The Deputy Special Prosecutor has also not been paid any emoluments since her appointment, and there is the need to redress that situation for her now that I am out of the way," he said.

Martin Amidu Had No Special Powers

Addressing the issue during a panel discussion on Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo'', Kwesi Pratt argued that the Special Prosecutor (SP) didn't have the right to prosecute, believing it's part of Mr. Martin Amidu's frustrations.

He stressed that the power of prosecution is constitutionally vested in the Attorney General which places a limit on the job of the Special Prosecutor and so questioned the logic in setting up the SP's office if he cannot prosecute people.

"The right to prosecute is still the preserve of the Attorney General . . . the constitution gives an unfettered right of prosecution only to the Attorney General . . . Article 88 of the constitution, what it states and how; the Special Prosecutor has no special powers beyond the powers of the Attorney General."

To Kwesi Pratt, the establishment of the Special Prosecutor's office was set up in haste.

"Why did we rush to set up the office of the Special Prosecutor especially as the Special Prosecutor doesn't wield any special power over the Attorney General? Why the haste? Even when you look at the mode of appointment, it's the same. So, why did we rush?" he questioned.

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