Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo, has defended the approval of Martin Amidu as the country’s first Special Prosecutor despite a suit at the Supreme Court challenging his eligibility over his age.
“Parliament has not been injuncted. The mere initiation of a suit does not serve as an injunction. In the absence of that, I think Parliament is right in proceeding with the approval. In the absence of an injunction Parliament is free to proceed and they are right to do so,” she said.
Parliament on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, approved Mr. Amidu as Special Prosecutor to tackle corruption cases in the country.
The approval was done regardless of a suit filed at the Supreme Court by Deputy Minority Ranking Member on Constitutional Affairs, Dr. Dominic Ayine, who is seeking a declaration that Mr. Amidu, who is 66-years-old, cannot hold public office because he has exceeded the mandated age limit per the 1992 constitution.
Dr. Ayine prior to the approval on Tuesday further asked Parliament to put the process on hold, as his suit is still pending at the Supreme Court.
Drawing on Standing order 93(1), Dr. Ayine invited the Speaker of Parliament to rule on whether the House’s intention to approve the nominee will not be wrong pending the Supreme Court case.
But the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, ruled against Dr. Ayine’s argument thus paving the way for Amidu’s approval.
Speaking to Citi News’ Duke Mensah Opoku in Parliament after the approval, Gloria Akuffo, who recommended Amidu for the position, said she is hopeful the Supreme Court case will go in favour of Amidu.
“I am confident that Mr. Amidu’s appointment will be confirmed by the Supreme Court…Let’s allow the court to go into the merits and come out with its decision,” she added.
Dr. Dominic Ayine who is also a former Deputy Attorney-General, filed the suit at the Supreme Court on February 12, 2018 arguing that Mr. Amidu’s age bars him from being appointed to public office.
However, Parliament’s Appointments Committee went ahead to vet Mr. Amidu last Tuesday with the Chairman of the Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu claiming that he had not been served any injunction to prevent the committee from doing its work.
The vetting, which lasted more than seven hours saw members of committee quizzing Mr. Amidu’s plans for the Special Prosecutor’s Office and how he intends to carry out his mandate of fighting corruption.
The Appointments Committee also unanimously recommended his confirmation moments after the gruelling exercise.