Adentan MP Yaw Buaben Asamoah has asked the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, to stop complaining and just go ahead and do his job.
On Monday, 22 July 2019, Daily Graphic reported that the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service had exonerated Charles Bissue of any wrongdoing in the Galamsey Fraud documentary of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in which the former Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining was caught allegedly dishing out instructions to his subordinates to circumvent laid-down procedures in licensing a make-believe mining firm.
He allegedly received GHC35,000 for that as bribe.
Following his exoneration by the CID, Mr. Amidu said granted an interview to Accra-based Citi FM in which he said the presidential staffer has not been cleared of the corruption allegations leveled against him.
According to him, the CID Director-General, COP Maame Tiwaa Addo Danquah wrote to him claiming she had been instructed by the Minister of Science, Environment, Technology, and Innovation, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng; and the Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery to undertake the parallel investigation.
Mr Amidu said: “We commenced investigations but before I could invite the suspect, I read a newspaper publication in which Charles Bissue said that the CID was investigating his case and that the complainant should go there and make their evidence. So, I wrote to the Director-General of the CID to tell her that the offences of corruption have been apportioned to the Office of the Special Prosecutor. We have been petitioned, we have indicated that we are going to begin investigations, there shouldn’t be duplicity of our efforts, so, she should stop it.
“She writes to me to say she’s been instructed by the Minister of Environment, who is the Chairman of that organisation [IMCIM] and the Ministry for the Interior to investigate. So, investigations continued.
“I wrote objecting very strongly and then I began the investigations. I wrote to the Chief of Staff to release Bissue. A statement was taken from him. Andy was invited. A statement was taken from him. We have by then taken a statement from the complainant, who came here with his lawyers. There was a video which was sent. I haven’t watched it because I’m not the investigator. I don’t get involved in this. I don’t know what was written to the investigators and the docket hasn’t reached where it will come to me. They viewed it with everybody there and I’m sure whosoever came must have viewed it and the investigators are dealing with the matter."
“There are some knotty points which have to be trashed out before the docket will be brought to us because the complainant has given a statement. Mr Anas Aremeyaw Anas sent us a letter a few days ago that he wanted to be a witness and I told him I couldn’t guarantee the conditions under which he wanted to be a witness but he could bring a written statement. He came for statement forms. He is to submit them. When all that is done – because the complainant and the suspects have all given evidence, the material which is the video is there, I don’t know what it says – [and] when we’ve gone through that process, we shall make a decision whether there’s a corruption offence committed or not."
“So, the case is with us. I’ve told the CID that they don’t have jurisdiction. I’ve written to the Minister for the Interior, I’ve copied the Jubilee House, and said that we cannot concurrently investigate it. You either want to set up an office to investigate corruption or when it suits you, you send it to the police. So, the matter is being investigated by us. When the docket is brought up, we shall make a decision whether or not there’s a case to answer.
“You can’t investigate a case when you haven’t heard both sides and this is not the first time this type of obstruction, which I’ve referred to in my write-up, is happening. People choose to interfere with my corruption investigations when they think it doesn’t suit them but we have to do professional work – impartially. I have been brought here to do a job and that’s what I’m going to do.
“And the police know that I’ve told them they can’t do it. And the Minister for the Interior knows that I’ve told him that for them to direct the police to do it is a political decision. If I’ve been set up to investigate without political direction, why will politicians send the case to the police when they know I’m supposed to handle it? We either want to set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor or we don’t.
“I’ve told you I wrote to the Director-General, CID, that it wasn’t her jurisdiction. I’ve written to the Minister for the Interior. I’ve copied the Presidency. I wrote to the Chief of Staff to release Bissue, and I asked that” ‘Treat a crime as a crime, I don’t care who is involved’.
“The point is, as far as I am concerned, the police have no jurisdiction in the matter, and no minister can refer cases which belong to me to them. The President said he was appointing me so that there won’t be political interference, so, why will a minister bypass me and refer a case to the police?
“My investigators will handle it. When they are ready, they will give the dockets to us as prosecutors, we’ll assess it and we’ll make a decision. And then I’ll see who will stop me”, Mr Amidu noted.
Responding to Mr Amidu, Mr Buaben Asamoah, who is also the Communication Director for the governing New Patriotic Party, said: “I think he [Mr Amidu] can take advantage of their investigations and they can carry it even further to satisfy himself on whether or not they did a good job… I don’t think the CID’s work ousts Mr Amidu’s jurisdiction in anyway at all.
“… You have power to prosecute politically-exposed persons, the matter is on your table, nobody has stopped you from investigating the matter. Why is he not investigating it and carrying it on?
“Why is he complaining all the time, let him do his work, it’s as simple as that. Has the president told Mr Martin Amidu to stop working? No. Has the minister who wrote the letter to the CID told Martin Amidu to stop working? No. Has the CID in its report told Martin Amidu to stop working? No. Mr Amidu, nobody can direct him [about] what to do and that office was set up by this government. It’s a very bold decision."
"I don’t think it’s useful to be at opposite ends of the table with the CID. I think it will be better for him to pick up that report, look at flaws, if any he finds per his purview he finds per the Special Prosecutor’s Act and move on to deal with those issues”, he said, adding: “Nobody has asked him not to work on Mr Bissue’s report, nobody has stopped him from moving to investigate the matter and nobody can stop him”.
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