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Amidu's resignation 'smacks of political grandstanding' - NPP

Yaw Buaben Asamoa NPP Press Conference .png Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Communications Director, NPP

Wed, 18 Nov 2020 Source:

The New Patriotic Party says it is shocked Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, who was appointed barely two years ago, has resigned.

The ruling party, however, believes Mr Amidu walked away from a golden opportunity, and his "noble gesture of resignation" more akin to "political grandstanding".

Mr. Amidu resigned as the Special Prosecutor on Monday claiming that government officials and the presidency were interfering with the independence of his office.

In a resignation letter to the President, he said; "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.”

The Special Prosecutor cited the intense traumatic experience he endured after the release of a corruption risk assessment conducted on the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal as one of the reasons for his resignation.

"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 through out in the discharge of my duties and my conscience is the anchor of my strength to face any consequences," portions of the letter read.

Despite these allegations by Mr Amidu that his independence to work; without fear or favour was compromised, the NPP says he was given room to execute his duty effectively.

A statement signed by Communications Director, Yaw Buaben Asamoah ointed out that "much as the Office has the power and right to issue the Report," the President also "had a duty to engage the Hon. Minister of Finance", and that cannot be "stretched to mean interference."

"Independence cannot be infallible. Independence does not mean the actions of the Office cannot be commented upon by the people as has happened with Mr Amidu’s report on Agyapa.

Also, for the OSP to work well, the principles of natural justice must be respected at all times. Mr. Amidu’s letter of resignation, it would appear that he chose to resign because H.E the President sought to apply “Audi Alteram Partem” rules to enable the Hon. Finance Minister state his case after an anti-corruption risk and corruption risk assessment report was done on Agyapa and the Minister’s role in it assessed and conclusions reached without giving the Minister the prior opportunity to explain matters beyond the documents assessed.

In short, the very independence and authority of the Office demand that its conclusions hold up to scrutiny. In this regard, much as the Office has the power and right to issue the Report, the recipient President also had a duty to engage the Hon. Minister of Finance, who in his Memo requested by the President in response, clearly engages very transparently on the issues raised in the report.

We are at a loss as to how this can be stretched to mean interference. There is nothing said or done that stopped the Special Prosecutor from going ahead to undertake a full and proper investigation of Agyapa beyond the assessment done. All he had to do was continue his mandate to undertake an investigation and continue with prosecution if a prima facie case could be established. Otherwise, Mr Amidu’s apparently noble gesture of resignation, may, sadly, smack of political grandstanding," portions of Buaben Asamoah's statement read.

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