Ghanaians must not fall for the cheap antics of NDC

Martin Amidu At Occupy Ghana Program 768x493 The former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu

Thu, 19 Nov 2020 Source: Dawda Eric

In 2010, when Martin Alamisi Amidu got to the Attorney General's department, he met one of the most infamous scandals which was the first to have ever hit the Republic through surrogates who were key officials of Mills and Mahama government.

The said scandal was the payment of GH¢51.2 M of taxpayers money to the very man who was on record to have financed Mills and Mahama campaign in 2008 general elections.

Even when they were directed by the court to retrieve the money, they responded with laxity. Those who gave Woyome the teeth to bite the state by allowing him to obtain a confidential memo from the Attorney Generals department through leakage which was later tendered in evidence against the state are claiming that, Ghanaians should on the basis of Mr. Amidu's voluntary resignation reject the NPP come December 7th general elections.

Today, by the singular effort of this government, most of the hidden assets of Woyome have been sold through auction, a means to satisfy the judgement secured by Mr Amidu in 2013. Something the NDC couldn't do.

I have actually read a detailed response from the President's Secretary as well as Mr Amidu's letter of resignation. In fact, I am however baffled and still in dismay the angle the National Democratic Congress is coming from. That angle is the highest form of hypocrisy ever to have been exhibited by an opposition party.

This piece is not in any way seeking to pronounce judgement on the seeming tussle arising out of a disagreement between the government and Martin Alamisi Amidu. This harmless piece is a recount of Mr Martin Amidu's debacle with the NDC who are now making things look strange and letting it look as if all has never been well ever since the President offered Mr.Amidu the opportunity to face Corruption and Corruption Related Offences squarely as an INDEPENDENT person.

Ghanaians would recall that, when Mr Amidu attempted to prosecute key Goverment Officials who facilitated the stealing of GH¢51.2M belonging to the taxpayer, the NDC as a political party knowing very well the ramification of that exercise decided to dismiss him from office as an Attorney General.

Even when they sacked him from office, they assigned reasons to his dismissal which never sounded well in the ears of the ordinary Ghanaian. The Government at the time unleashed babies with sharp teeth to go all out with senseless attacks on Mr Amidu. Thank God we are not seeing same today under the NPP.

In fact, they said Mr Amidu had threatened to beat the hell out of the President who had invited him to his office in the midst of Betty Mould Iddrisu to allow Ms Betty an opportunity to confront Mr Amidu's allegation against her.

We were also told that the president invited Ms Betty Mould Iddrisu to the meeting because Mr Amidu had alleged that, Ms Betty as an Attorney General actually ordered the finance ministry to pay the amount in full to Woyome contrary to the terms of the consent judgement obtained at the high court.

The NDC after dismissing Mr Amidu withheld all his entitlements until the man went to the high court. The judgement he obtained from the high court confirmed bad treatment he suffered under the NDC when they pushed him out of office. It is curious to note that, the very people who wanted us to believe and accept the reasons they assigned to his dismissal hook, line and sinker are the very people seeking to take political advantage of the issue at hand in their quest to harness their miserable and shrinking political fortunes in the upcoming general elections.

The NDC from the onset never supported Mr Amidu's appointment as a special prosecutor because they saw it as an avenue he could explore to punish them for how badly they treated him concerning the "Woyomegate" saga which finally ended up in the supreme court of Ghana.

Fast forward to 2016 elections, It was the NDC government who went to court to block Mr Amidu's application which was going to allow him to examine Woyome orally on oath as a means to disclose all hidden assets of the looter.

Dr Dominic Ayine who was Deputy Attorney General was directed by Mr John and the NDC to challenge Mr Amidu's appointment on the basis that, he was old and was not fit to occupy the office.

The person who represented Dr Dominic Ayine in the supreme court was Tony Lithur( John Mahama's personal lawyer). Isn't it intriguing that, those who wanted to use the court to push Mr Amidu from office are the same people using his resignation to lash government?

When Mr Amidu presented the risk assessment on the Agyapa deal, he actually underscored the kind of cooperation he got from government officials.

In his observation, he made it clear that, quite apart from his experience he had during the PNDC era when he was tasked by chairman Rawlings to investigate a deal, the voluntary cooperation he got during his work on the Agyapa deal was second to none.

The above expression made by Mr Amidu which was captured in the corruption risk assessment has been reproduced by the secretary to the president in his response to allegations of interference of his independence as put out in the public domain by the special prosecutor.

The truth of the matter is if this government never had the will and courage to fight corruption, the office of the special prosecutor wouldn't have been set up in the first place.

What also baffles me is that the very group of people who called Mr Amidu names when he revealed the real identity of government official 1 as captured in both the deferred prosecution agreement and the U.K crown court in the infamous Airbus scandal are also the same people trying to use Mr Amidu's voluntary resignation to score political points to paint a gloomy picture about the whole situation.

Let it also not be forgotten that, when Mr Amidu wrote an epistle about John Mahama's criminal diversion of the EO group money into private pockets meant for the development of cape three-point in Western Region, the NDC'S used all the unqualified invectives in this world to describe him. Some even labelled him as an insane person with bitterness in him.

It must be noted however that, One of the foundational bedrock of both our civil and criminal jurisprudence is the principle of Natural Justice.

In Republic v High Court, [Ex parte Tweneboah] ( Interested Party, Economic And Organised Office, Justice Anin Yeboah in his dissenting opinion asserted that that principle must scrupulously be adhered to in the exercise of all quasi Judicial functions.

It is pertinent to note further that, when the law allows or confers power on anybody to inquire into anything that ultimately affects the fate of an individual, the exercise of that power is quasi Judicial which requires the adherence of the principle of Natural Justice.

It is in this regard that, the president after receiving the Corruption Risk Assessment on the Agyapa deal admonished the special prosecutor to allow officers his report sought to indict an opportunity to be heard before making the findings public.

How can this be described as INTERFERENCE of the independence of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.? Well, it is Mr Amidu who can describe it better for some of us.

Even in Auditing and Internal Review, when adverse findings are made against officers in the ordinary course of Audit, observations are forwarded to those officers affected by the findings of the exercise to comment on them before they are incorporated in the final report. This is a standard accepted globally.

Mr.Amidu indicated quite clearly that, his assessment on the Agyapa deal was purely an Audit work. So ideally, he was under obligation to give officers affected by his work an opportunity to be heard. Such an insistence by the president cannot be described as undue interference.

It is also instructive to note that, in the entire report submitted to the president, nowhere did Mr Amidu point to the fact that, monies have been paid to people who didn't deserve it or dissipated. Again Mr Amidu never raised any issue of financial loss to the state.

One of the substantive issues raised by Mr Amidu in his Corruption Risk Assessment had something thing to do with mandate agreement and the selection of transaction advisors.

According to Mr Amidu, the mandate agreement ought to have received parliamentary blessings under article 181(5) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana with reference to the Balken Energy case.

This assertion by Mr Amidu cannot be so having regard to the decision of the Supreme Court in Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah vs Attorney General, Francis Klomegah vs Attorney General as well as the Faroe Atlantic case.

In the Faroe Atlantic case, the Supreme Court of Ghana ruled that not all transactions which the government is a party to must go to parliament for modifications or ratification.

What the Supreme Court said was that those Major economic transaction which the government is a party are those which must go to parliament for modifications and ratification.

That decision of the court excluded all MMDAS and statutory bodies because these bodies have laws that regulate their financial operations and therefore cannot be part of the Constitutional injunction stipulated under Article 181(5) of the Constitution of Ghana.

In all honesty, Mr Amidu got it wrong when he described the mandate agreement as unconstitutional on the basis that, it failed to get approval from parliament which is the second Arm of government in our dispensation.

The decision of the Balken Energy case and Amidu v Attorney which he relied on to make the said conclusion is not applicable to this matter.

If the government wanted to push the Agyapa deal, that conclusion of Mr Amidu in the mandate agreement would have been challenged in the court of law but here we are, despite this error, the government didn't proceed with the final aspect of the deal which was going to see to it that, the IPO is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

As we speak, the deal has been held in abeyance pending extensive consultations owing to Mr Amidu's Risk Assessment Report. So where from the impression being created by the NDC that, the government was not comfortable with work Mr Amidu did on the Agyapa deal.

A government determined to milk the citizenry wouldn't have cooperated with Mr Amidu in his exercise in the first place knowing very well the danger of being exposed by the Analysis of the risk assessment.

The records would show that this Corruption Risk Assessment is the first ever to have been done in the history of this country. This really confirms the transparent nature of this government as compared to what we witnessed under the NDC.

The NDC as a political party is so fixated about Mr Amidu's resignation because, they know that, the surest way to cover their shame because they have been exposed by the fantastic results of these students is to take way Ghanaians attention from the monumental success of the first batch of the free SHS graduates.

Ghanaians must not fall for their cheap antics.

Columnist: Dawda Eric