He was appointed to lead the fight against corruption for seven years, but after nearly three years since he was sworn into office, the Special Prosecutor, Mr Matin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu, has resigned.
In a letter issued Monday, November 16, 2020 and addressed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr Amidu said he was resigning due to “the lack of respect of the independence of his office.”
He cited the reaction he got from the Presidency on the corruption risk assessment he conducted on the Gold Royalties Monetization Transaction arrangement, popularly referred to as the Agyapa deal, as the final push that led him to resign.
Mr Amidu accused President Akufo-Addo of trying to direct him on how to proceed with the corruption risk assessment the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) had conducted on the Agyapa deal.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo allegedly tried to convince him to take a response of the Finance Minister to the corruption risk assessment, which he refused, adding “that would have compromised my independence as the Special Prosecutor.”
“It thus became abundantly clear to me that I cannot continue under your government as the Special Prosecutor in the performance of the functions of my office in preventing and fighting corruption and corruption-related offences,” the letter alleged.
Mr Amidu further stated in the letter that his resignation was also premised on the limited number of staff sent to his outfit.
“The compulsion to use a limited number of seconded staff in a three-bedroom and boys’ quarter’s accommodation undermined the achievement of the objects of the office and my undertaking on oath before Parliament.
“One cannot seriously continue to prevent and fight corruption by depending on seconded staff of a two-year duration who are looking forward to and/or over their shoulders to returning to their main employers, who consequently may have more influenced over them than the Special Prosecutor under whom they are supposed to work,” the letter added.
Mr Amidu was sowrn into office by President Akufo-Addo on February 23, 2018 after he was duly vetted and approved by Parliament.
That followed the passage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) Act, 2017 (Act 959) which gave the OSP investigative and prosecutorial powers to fight, prevent and prosecute acts of corruption and corruption related activities.
Per Act 959, the Special Prosecutor was supposed to hold office for a seven-year nonrenewable term.
Mr Amidu’s appointment was not smooth sailing but was fraught with controversies.
One notable one was the legal action at the Supreme Court challenging Mr Amidu’s eligibility to be the special prosecutor on the basis of his age.
The suit was filed by Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, a former Deputy Attorney-General and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East, who argued that Mr Amidu was 66 years as of the time he was appointed, and therefore, he was constitutionally barred from holding any public office such as the Special Prosecutor.
However, in May, this year, the Supreme Court, in a 5-2 majority decision dismissed the suit.
The apex court held that Mr Amidu was eligible to be the Special Prosecutor because his office cannot be equated to the public service which is caught by the retirement age of 60 as prescribed under Articles 190, 195 and 199 of the 1992 Constitution.
Below Is The Full Resignation Letter of Martin AmiduTo The President.
P. O. BOX AN 17010
ACCRA, GHANA MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU, ESQ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
16th November 2020
RESIGNATION OF APPOINTMENT AS SPECIAL PROSECUTOR WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT: MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU, ESQ
This is to inform the public that I resigned from my position as the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Special Prosecutor with immediate effect upon the submission of my letter of resignation with reference number OSP/2/AM/14 dated 16th November 2020 which was received at the Office of the President at 15:15 HRS this afternoon.
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 cautions against not bringing my resignation as the Special Prosecutor with immediate to the notice of the Ghanaian public and the world.
In undertaking the analysis of the risk of prevention of corruption and anti-corruption assessment I sincerely believed that I was executing an independent mandate under the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Act, 2017 (Act 959) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018 (L. I. 2374). The reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption. My position as the Special Prosecutor has consequently become clearly untenable.
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
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 through out in the discharge of my duties and my conscience is the anchor of my strength to face any consequences. I am grateful to every Ghanaian for both the support and criticisms during my tenure. When the real facts of my tenure become well known to the public in the future, history may judge me kindly. Ghana First!
MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU, ES
You may also want to download the original pdf format of the letter below