Private Legal Practitioner, Nana Yaw Osei has admonished Ghanaians not to jubilate over the 5/2 majority decision by the Supreme Court (SC) in upholding the age eligibility of Martin Amidu to occupy the Special Prosecutor’s office as we are back to business as usual with nothing expected to happen from his office.
The stalwart of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) said on Kumasi-based Pure Fm’s flagship political program ‘Bresosem’ on Saturday [May 16, 2020 ], said that it is wrong for anyone to assume the Court case impeded the work of the Special Prosecutor and he is all charged up to effectively discharge his mandate now that his age eligibility is not an issue under contention.
When asked by the host, Dr. Otchere Addai- Mensah [UTAG’s Vice President] if he thought the 5/2 majority decision of the SC in favor of the Attorney General (A-G) does effectively lift off any impediment from the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) function, Lawyer Nana Yaw Osei stated that no court restricted Martin Amidu from working because of his ‘pending’ age eligibility ruling so it will be wrong of people to think so.
“In the first place, were there any roadblocks preventing the Office of the Special Prosecutor from working?…Did you hear from any Court that restricted Martin Amidu from discharging his mandate because of his age eligibility issue?
People who thought the Court case slowed down his work clearly were informed by ignorance.
Government should have resourced the A-G’s office with personnel, materials and other needs rather than creating that office.
Till date, nothing has been an impediment to the work of the OSP. Nobody should have that assumption.”
“With the benefit of time, has Martin Amidu’s office been able to do anything special? I don’t need you to tell me, the answer is no!
In fact, nothing will happen but the office of the Attorney General will continue to work.
All the corruption related cases that are currently before Court are being handled by the A-G’s office.
Let people not jubilate as if the Court ruling on his age eligibility will change anything. No! It is business as usual.” He stated.
Lawyer Nana Yaw Osei further indicated that he will recommend to any government that comes after the Akufo-Addo led administration to scrap the office of the Special Prosecutor as the A-G’s office can better execute that mandate if it is well resourced.
“Should any government come, I will recommend that the Office of the Special Prosecutor be scrapped.”
In a 5-2 majority decision on Wednesday [May 13], the SC dismissed a motion filed by former Deputy Attorney General, Dominic Ayine who sought to seek a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190 (1) (d), 199 (1), 199 (4) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retiring age of all holders of public offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1) (d).
Dr Ayine had argued that Mr Amidu was 66 when he was appointed as the Special prosecutor and therefore per the laws of Ghana he was ineligible to hold the office. It was his contention that the Court declared the appointment of Martin Amidu as OSP unconstitutional but the Court in a majority decision dismissed the case.
The Judges who were in favour of the dismissal included, Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, Justices Bafffoe Bonnie, Marfo Sau, Nene Amegatse and Prof Ashie Kotey with Justices Sulley Gbadegbe and Agnes Dodzi dissenting.
Experts and Social Commentators have argued that the Court case served as a roadblock to the Special Prosecutor as his eligibility was under contention hence, affecting his effectiveness in discharging his duties.