Amidu Cries Again!

 

Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor (SP) since independence, Martin A.B.K. Amidu, has, once again, lamented the inadequate resources at his disposal, describing the situation as utter “hopelessness.”

According to him, his office finds itself in an almost hopeless situation a year after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo established it.

Mr Amidu in his latest epistle christened, “The Whitaker Scenario-Stifling Independent Investigative Agencies of  Funds”, claimed that one year after the establishment of his office, it can only boast of a small three-bed room house as an office, a situation he said was woefully inadequate for the job it has been tasked to do.

In fact, this is not the first time Mr Amidu has come out publicly through his epistles to register his displeasure at the challenges facing his office.

It would be recalled that barely two months ago, he complained about the lack of information flow and cooperation from some government appointees to enable him to deliver on his mandate.

Likening his present situation to Whitaker’s scenario in the United States of America (USA), Mr Amidu, who is known in political circles as a Citizen Vigilante,’ said: the Whitaker’s scenario had reinforced his own conviction that the effective way to stifle the fight against corruption was to apply Whitaker’s scenario.

In the Whitaker’s scenario, Jeff Sessions who until November 7, 2018 was the United States Attorney General resigned at the request of President Donald Trump.

The Chief of Staff of the Justice Department, Matthew Whitaker, whom Jeff Session appointed in September 2017, was appointed the Acting Attorney General to the displeasure of the opposition Democrats because of the likely effect of the new acting appointment on Robert Mueller’s investigations into the allegation of Russian meddling into the 2016 US election.

The fear of the opposition Democrats’ was that the new Acting Attorney General will assume full oversight over Mueller’s investigations and therefore demanded that like Jeff Sessions, he recuses himself from those investigations because of his previous comments on the probe.

And in his (Martin Amidu’s) case, he indicated that the comments by Whitaker before Sessions appointed him to the Justice Department had opened his eyes to how an independent investigation and prosecutorial agency such as Ghana’s Office of the Special Prosecutor could be disabled from effectively and efficiently performing its mandate without direct interference with its so-called independence and impartiality.

He recalled that Whitaker, a former U.S. Attorney from Iowa, who twice ran unsuccessfully for statewide office once opined about a scenario in which Trump could fire Sessions and then appoint an acting attorney general who could stifle the funding of Mueller’s probe.

That, Mr Amidu said, reminded him of the almost utter hopelessness in which the newly established Office of the Special Prosecutor finds itself almost one year after the President caused its establishment as his flagship and vision to fight corruption in Ghana with an overwhelming national consensus and support.

He expressed worry about the woefully inadequate for lack of sheer physical space to accommodate any reasonable number of employees, lack of subsidiary legislation, and consequently also financially crippled without any ability to acquire the requisite expensive operational anti-corruption and other equipment for the office let alone to function efficiently.

According to him, creating unilateral unrealistic and crippling budget ceilings for such a deprived agency has same effect as the Whitaker scenario.

“By analogical reasoning the Whitaker scenario reported by the Associated Press resembles the situation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor since its establishment in spite of the President’s sincere commitment to his vision.

“The Whitaker scenario appears to be taking shape in November 2018 in the United States of America. Here in Ghana I see the absolute need for all citizens, particularly the electorate, who brought the President personally to power to support him to ensure that his promised vision of fighting corruption materialises during his first term in Office. The 1992 Constitution supports the President’s vision and every patriotic citizen is mandated by the Constitution to support him,” he said.

He was confident that President Akufo-Addo meant business in his resolve to fight corruption.

However, he stated that there was a missing link provided by the Whitaker scenario to which civil society should wake up “now or forever stop blaming the President.”

“We are going into his third year in office and we must all be stakeholders in the fight against corruption,” he added.

“This is not politics. This is a fundamental patriotic obligation enjoined by the 1992 Constitution for its defence and to save our dear country of a malignant canker of corruption that has ravaged it since independence. Join the citizen patriotic fight against corruption in Ghana now! Prevent corruption now! Act now! Save Ghana now!” he concluded.

 

Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI

Writer’s email: kwaku.boadi@todaygh.com

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