The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has accepted the resignation from the Special Prosecutor (SP), Martin Alamisi Barnes Kaiser Amidu, Jubilee House has confirmed.
A letter signed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, dated November 17, 2020 acknowledged the President’s receipt of the SP’s letter which was dated November 16, 2020 and addressed to the President.
Responding to Mr Amidu’s letter, the Chief of Staff said: “This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter, dated 16th November, 2020 (Ref: OSP/2/AM/14), addressed to the President of the Republic, conveying to him your decision to resign from office as Special Prosecutor, which he has accepted.”
The letter continued that: “The President has taken due note of the other matters raised in your letter and the Government will issue a statement responding to them in due course. The President has directed me to ensure that all emoluments and benefits due you under law are paid to you accordingly.”
In the early hours of yesterday, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had urged the President to accept the resignation.
The party’s Communications Director, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, in a statement indicated that the NPP received with shock and dismay the news of the resignation of the SP, Martin Amidu.
He explained that the NPP was shocked “because Mr. Amidu chose to walk away from the golden opportunity of establishing a brand-new effective agency, having had the best part of three years to demonstrate and cement his undoubted anti-corruption credentials in doing so.
“The Presidency and the Ministry of Finance, the evidence indicates clearly, have done everything to make the OSP operational, effective and independent. The decision to appoint Martin Amidu himself is a clear indication that the President did not intend for the Office to be headed by a lackey,” the statement added, asking the President to initiate processes to find a successor.
On Monday the SP tendered his resignation citing interference by the President in his work as an independent corruption prosecuting office.
His letter to the President read in part that: “The one condition upon which I accepted to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor when you [President] invited me to your office on 10 January 2018, was your firm promise to me that you will respect and ensure same by your government, my independence and freedom of action as the Special Prosecutor.”
He added: “Several things have happened since then”, explaining: “But your reaction to my letter with reference number OSP/SCR/20/12/20 dated 16 October 2020, which was delivered to you on 19 October 2020, conveying to you the conclusions and observations of the analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment of the Agyapa Royalties Limited transactions, convinces me beyond every reasonable doubt that you had laboured under the mistaken belief that I could hold the Office of Special Prosecutor as poodle…
“…It, thus, became abundant clear to me that I cannot continue under your government as the special prosecutor because we disagree with the non-partisan independence of the special prosecutor in the performance of the functions of my office in preventing and fighting corruption and corruption-related offences.”
The letter also said that: “The total of the foregoing interventions by you in my functions, make my position as the Special Prosecutor, untenable.”
In his about three years stay as the SP, Martin Amidu, apart from the assessment on the risk of corruption and anti-corruption in the Agyapa deal, was following the famous Airbus scandal in which he recently named former President John Mahama as the Government Official 1.
He, however, indicated that he could not prosecute Mr Mahama because the latter was a presidential candidate, a claim Mr Mahama refuted, daring Mr Amidu to go ahead and investigate him if he had a legal basis.
He also investigated the ‘Contract for Sale’ allegations, which has seen the Chief Executive Office of the Public Procurement Authority, Adjenim Adjei Boateng sacked. The dismissal followed a recommendation by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) after its probe.
But Mr Amidu had issues with the report by CHRAJ on the probe. In a statement, Mr Amidu said: “The Commission on Human Rights and Administration Justice ought to be commended for the report. The only problem with the CHRAJ report is that for some reason it understates the amounts disclosed by the bank statements from three bank accounts of Mr Adjei, exhaustively reviewed by the Auditor-General for this Office,” The Chronicle carried yesterday.