Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has advised the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo not to respond to any counter-reply from Martin Amidu regarding his resignation.
Martin Amidu, on Monday, November 16, 2020, announced his resignation as Special Prosecutor.
Communicating his decision to President Nana Akufo-Addo, he cited a lack of operational independence as the basis for his resignation.
“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.
”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 caution 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 throughout in the discharge of my duties and my conscience is the anchor of my strength to face any consequences.”
He also accused the President of interfering in his work saying he is “a judge in his own cause” and further stated he had not been paid his emoluments and benefits since he assumed office.
“It is essential for me to state for the purpose of the records, and contrary to public perceptions, that my appointment letter was received on 5th February 2020 (almost two (2)-years after my appointment). The copy addressees made no efforts to honour any of the conditions of appointment in terms of emoluments and benefits of the appointment ever since my warrant of appointment was issued on 23rd February 2018 to the date of my letter of resignation. I accepted the offer on 10th January 2018 to be nominated to be Special Prosecutor because Mr. President, and Ghanaians knew I have been an anti-corruption crusader all my life and not an anti-corruption entrepreneur. This explains why I have never put the emoluments and benefits of the Office as central to my commitment and my passion for the establishment of an independent, effective, efficient and impartial anti-corruption Office of the Special Prosecutor before the end of the first term of Mr. President. This has not been possible for several reasons.
“The Deputy Special Prosecutor has also not been paid any emoluments since her appointment, and there is the need to redress that situation for her now that I am out of the way,” he said.
President’s Reply to Martin Amidu
In a 40point-9page response on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, the President addressed some critical claims Martin Amidu made such as interference in his work, the Agyapa Royalties deal and failure of the Government of Ghana to resource and fund the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
”I refer to your letter dated 16 November, 2020 pursuant to which you resigned your position as the first Special Prosecutor appointed in accordance with Section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) (hereinafter, the “Letter”). The President has taken note of your resignation per the President’s Chief of Staff’s letter to you of even date herewith (SCR/DA/96/135/01/A). We note, however, that, even before the President had been given the opportunity to react to the contents of your four (4) page Letter, it had been put into the public domain prior to receipt by the President. I am directed by the President to respond to correct the errors of fact contained in your Letter in order to provide a complete public record of the issues.
”…Your accusation of interference with your functions simply on account of the meeting the President held with you is perplexing. In exercise of what you considered to be your powers under Act 959, you had voluntarily proceeded to produce the Agyapa Report. The President had no hand in your work…You also bemoan the non-payment of the salaries of yourself, and the Deputy Special Prosecutor in a manner that suggests Government’s failure to do so. Yet, your Office had been adequately funded to pay for salaries. The impression given by you that there was a deliberate intention to ensure your office didn’t function is the more startling.
”In 2019, the your Office submitted a Budget Proposal of GHC360 million out of which Gh¢180,160,225 was approved and appropriated for the Office. This amount was higher than the budget of some Ministries in the current Government, and was made up of GHC33.47million for Compensation of Employees, GHC88.01million for Goods and Services and GHC58.68million for Capital Expenditure. Although the your Office did not apply for release of funds in 2019, the Ministry of Finance released GHS65.69million and transferred it into the bank account of the your Office for your operations. Only a little of over GHC5.22million had been utilised by you as head of the Office of the Special Prosecutor. In accordance with administrative practices, the unutilised amount of over GHC60.47million should have been returned to the Consolidated Fund, as happens to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies which do not utilise their budget. However, in the case of your Office, the Ministry of Finance rolled over the excess amount of over GHC60.47million to the following year to be utilised by it., Yet, the funds still remain in the bank account of the Office as at 12 November, 2020”, a statement issued by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo read.
The statement further read; ”Finally, you 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 thus 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 hasve an interest in a matter, one simply cannot be described as a judge in his own cause. That statement is most regrettable. 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.”
Kweku Baako’s Caution To President Akufo-Addo
Knowing the nature of Mr. Amidu, Kweku Baako believed he will reply to the President’s statement but has cautioned the President not to engage Martin Amidu.
Speaking on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” programme, he admonished the President to focus on his election campaign.
“The only caution is that the way I know him (Amidu) is that he may come back reacting to the Presidential response. My advice to the Presidency and for the President is to focus on the election countdown. What is out there is comprehensive enough! . . . You have limited time. It can be done post-elections. I’m not going to say win or lose because I know it will be win. You’ll have more time and space to deal with any post-Presidential reactions on Martin.”