On Monday 16 November 2020, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu tendered his resignation letter to the office of the president which led to the astonishment of many Ghanaians.
Mr. Amidu in his resignation letter said the President asked him to shelve the corruption risk assessment report on the Agyapa Royalties agreement so he (the President) could handle the matter. Will Martin Amidu’s resignation affect the out of election 2020?
In a 9-page letter by President Akufo-Addo, dated November 17, 2020, addressed to Mr. Amidu and written by Nana Bediatuo Asante, the Secretary to the President, the president debunked the allegation of interference and other issues of concern raised in Mr. Amidu’s resignation letter.
“I am directed by the President to respond to correct the errors of the fact contained in your [Amidu] letter in order to provide a complete public record of the issues,” the letter stated.
“At no point did the President ask you to shelve the report, so he could “handle the matter,” the letter read.
The highlight of the letter by the Secretary to the President
“… you [Amidu] also accuse the President of being a judge in his own cause. This is the unkindest cut of all. You did not and have not alleged that the President is, or could be, the subject of adverse findings or investigations arising from your assessment report of the Agyapa transaction. It beggars belief, therefore, that you would insinuate that the President has, himself, something to hide and seeks to be ‘a judge in his own cause.’ As a lawyer of many years’ standing, there is no doubt that you know that if one is not a party to, or has an interest in a matter, one simply cannot be described as a judge in his own cause. That statement is most regrettable,” the statement read.
“At the outset, it must be made clear that throughout your tenure as Special Prosecutor, neither the President nor any member of his government has interfered or sought to interfere with your work. Indeed, it is noteworthy that in your letter to the President dated 16 October, 2020, (OSP/SCR/20/12/20) you stated, in part, in relation to the novel nature of the report on the analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment of the gold royalties monetisation transaction (hereinafter the “Agyapa Report”) as follows: “This has been made possible by the courage and commitment of H.E. the President of Ghana in redeeming the promise he made to Ghanaians when he was a Presidential candidate of a political party to establish an independent anti-corruption statutory entity to make meaningful any real commitment to prevent and to fight corruption. The Office of Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) established this Office.
The President ensured that in the teeth of strong opposition, the Special Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018 (L.I. 2374)enacted the prevention of corruption regulations which to the best of my knowledge may be the first in Africa and meets international standards and best practices.
“We hope that the above statement of facts settles the issues and allegations contained in your letter and that the general public will now have a clearer understanding of the very serious matters you have raised,” the statement further read.
The resignation of the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has since seemed to rattle the good standing of Akufo Addo’s fight against corruption with many Ghanaians having mixed reactions over the issue. This may affect his popularity for purposes of election 2020
“Martin Amidu’s resignation is proof of why relying on men rather than cultural and institutional systems is a bad idea. It doesn’t take one man to end corruption,” a Twitter user wrote.
“I now understand why Martin amidu was dormant this whole years. 1. Appointment letter wasn’t given. 2. Salary nu koraaa ebi issue. The special prosecutor be name keke wey dey e top. Herh Ghana,” another Twitter user wrote.
Election 2020 – Likely effects on the December Polls
The information listed in Martin Amidu’s resignation letter detailing President Akufo Addo’s interference, lack of payment of emoluments and benefits as well as lack of logistics in the fight against corruption might have an impact on Akufo Addo’s re-election. This is because, for one, the incident seems to have dissipated Akufo Addo’s incorruptible nature amongst some Ghanaians, and two, the issue plays into the hands of his major political rival, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
However, with Akfuo Addo claiming deniability on the issue of interference with the works of the Special Prosecutor and taking up a positive stand in the light of the situation, it may not undermine his credibility at the polls.
The letter by Nana Bediatuo Asante to Martin Amidu stated that all emolument and benefits are to be paid to Martin Amidu.
“The President has directed me to ensure that all emoluments and benefits due you, under law are paid to you accordingly,” the letter read.
President Akufo Addo has also ordered the Inspector General of Police, James Oppong Boanuh to provide 24-hour police protection to the former Special Prosecutor due to the revelation of death threats against Amidu.
“The attention of the Office of the President has been drawn to claims by Mr. Martin Amidu, the former Special Prosecutor, of threats made against his life since his resignation from office. The President has, thus, directed the Inspector General of Police to provide Mr. Amidu immediately with 24 hour police protection.
The former Special Prosecutor is also encouraged to assist the police with details of persons who have made these threats against his life so that they can be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the country,” Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications for the President of Ghana, disclosed in a Facebook post.
Mr. Amidu in an interview said “I tried to call Kan-Dapaah, he didn’t pick it and I got a former National Security Advisor to contact him and tell him. And I know the persons involved, I can name them. I reserve it for the meantime,” he said.
Mr. Amidu cautioned the President that he will be responsible for any bad thing that should happen to him.
“I put my life on the Republic of Ghana and the President will be responsible for anything that happen to me . . . I laid my life on the Republic of Ghana and the President has the constitutional duty to protect me. I don’t need any security at my house or to follow me and anybody who makes an attempt, he will have himself to blame,” he said in an interview.