President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sparked a national debate after he announced Martin Alamisi Amidu as Special Prosecutor.
The announcement was in line with section 13(3) of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 663) that enjoins the Attorney-General to nominate an individual who is fit to lead the Office.
A former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Martin Alamisi Amidu will be the first Ghanaian to occupy that position if approved by parliament.
While some are of the view that, is a well-known card bearing member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), most Ghanaians are happy for his appointment.
A former Commissioner on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Emile Short, described him as a serious anti-corruption crusader who should be acceptable by all shades of opinion.
Mr. Martin Amidu also known as Citizen Vigilante, was Attorney-General and Minister for Justice from January 2011 till January 2012.
He is the man, who introduced the word “gargantuan”, into the lexicon of Ghanaian politics, when he opened the can of worms about the Woyome scandal which was said to be the worst financial scandal in Ghana’s fiscal history at the time.
In the December 2000 presidential elections, he stood as the running mate of the late Professor Evans John Atta Mills.
They both however, lost to President John Kufuor that year.
In January 2010, following a cabinet reshuffle, late President Mills replaced Cletus Avoka with Amidu as the Minister for Interior.
As Amidu is a Builsa, some people raised questions as to his neutrality in dealing with the Bawku conflict.
He however, went successfully through vetting by the Parliament of Ghana.
Mr. Amidu was removed from office on Thursday January 19, 2012 by President Atta Mills under circumstances described by aids as “his misconduct” at a meeting chaired by the president at the Osu Castle on January 18, 2012.
He made allegations related to alleged financial impropriety on the part of another cabinet minister, allegations he was asked by the president to substantiate.
The former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, single-handedly challenged the legality of the payments after being relieved off his post at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the money as Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney-General clearance to execute the court’s judgment, ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state.
Following the delays in retrieving the money, Mr. Amidu in 2016, filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking to examine Alfred Woyome, on how he would pay back the money, after the Attorney General’s office under the Mahama Administration, led by the former Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, discontinued a similar application.
In February 2017 however, Mr. Amidu withdrew his suit seeking an oral examination, explaining that the change of government under President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Attorney General, Miss Gloria Akuffo’s assurance to retrieve all judgment debts wrongfully paid to individuals.
Announcing his nomination, President Akufo-Addo, exalted Martin Amidu, virtues, saying “he has no doubt his nominee is very qualified and able to do the job, pending the approval of Parliament.”
According to President Akufo-Addo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, made the nomination, and he wholeheartedly approves of the nomination.
The Special Prosecutor, once confirmed by Parliament, will carry an extraordinary responsibility independently and impartially to fight corruption.