Ghana’s legislative arm of government has denied claims by the West African country’s special prosecutor that the Speaker is obstructing his work.
Martin Amidu in a recent TV interview claimed Prof. Mike Oquaye invited him to his office to persuade him not to go after Members of Parliament (MPs).
“I told him ‘No I won’t,'” a very straight-forward Amidu said.
“He wrote to the judge with a certificate directing the judge how he should behave, the judge turned it down…there is nothing like bipartisan interference in the work of the office of Special Prosecutor when the legislature which made the law and gave the independence tries to interfere as to how it is executed,” Mr Amidu said to host of ‘Time With David’, David Ampofo.
However, in a sharp rebuttal on Friday, October 4, 2019, Parliament said it has never tried to sabotage the work of the special prosecutor. The statement said Parliament only sought to seek audience with Mr. Amidu in connection with a case involving NDC MP Mahama Ayariga.
“It is clear from the onset that the Special Prosecutor knew the purpose of the meeting and selected to come. Indeed, he was accompanied by an official from his outfit at an open meeting in the Speaker’s Conference Room, with the Speaker, the Majority and Minority Leaders, the Ranking members of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, and the clerk of Parliament,” a statement signed by Kate Addo, head of public affairs said.
It added: “To suggest therefore that the Speaker had a private meeting to get him to approach the prosecution wrongfully is unfounded. During the meeting, the Speaker emphasized that MPs are not above the law. However, there was the need to respect their privileges as provided for in the 1992 Constitution. The Special Prosecutor however differed with this viewpoint and the meeting ended. A subsequent letter of appreciation was sent to the Special Prosecutor by the Speaker which communication made reference to his differing viewpoint on that matter.”
“Parliament wants to state categorically that it cooperated with the Special Prosecutor during the investigation stage of the case in question. Indeed, Parliament has in the past, collaborated with other law enforcement agencies in similar matters… the Special Prosecutor should not draw Parliament into his own issues at all,” the statement concluded.
Below is Parliament’s full statement:
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