The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has received with shock and dismay the news of the resignation of the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu.
Mr Amidu tended his resignation to the Office of the President on Monday, November 16, 2020.
The Special Prosecutor (SP) cited backlash on the risk assessment and anti-corruption report submitted on the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transaction and political interference from the Presidency, as some of the reasons for his resignation.
A statement signed and issued by Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Communications Director of the NPP, on Tuesday, in reaction to the SP’s resignation said, the Party was shocked by the decision because Mr. Amidu chose to walk away from the golden opportunity of establishing an effective agency, having had the best part of three years to demonstrate and cement his undoubted anti-corruption credentials.
It said the Presidency and the Ministry of Finance had done everything to make the Office of the Special Prosecutor operational, effective and independent.
It said all Mr Amidu has to do was to continue his mandate by undertaking an investigation and prosecute, if a prima facie case could be established in the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transaction.
“Otherwise, Mr Amidu’s apparently noble gesture of resignation, may sadly, smack of political grandstanding, ” it said.
It said the NPP believes the President has been forthright, sincere and honest in his conviction to fighting against corruption.
“Mr Amidu has not resigned because any investigation of his has been interfered with by the Presidency or any member of government,” it stated.
The statement said since 2018, Mr Amidu has been offered all the support he needed by law to operate the Office independently and efficiently.
“No political office holder has interfered in the administration of that office,” it stressed.
It said the decision to appoint Amidu as the SP is clear indication that the President did not intend for the Office to be headed by a lackey.
“Independence cannot be infallible. Independence does not mean the actions of the Office cannot be commented upon by the people as has happened with Mr Amidu’s report on Agyapa.
“Also, for the OSP to work well, the principles of natural justice must be respected at all times. Mr. Amidu’s letter of resignation, it would appear that he chose to resign because, the President sought to apply “Audi Alteram Partem” rules to enable the Finance Minister state his case after an anti-corruption risk and corruption risk assessment report was done on Agyapa and the Minister’s role in it assessed and conclusions reached without giving the Minister the prior opportunity to explain matters beyond the documents assessed.
“In short, the very independence and authority of the Office demand that its conclusions hold up to scrutiny.
“In this regard, much as the Office has the power and right to issue the Report, the recipient President also had a duty to engage the Minister of Finance, who in his Memo requested by the President in response, clearly engages very transparently on the issues raised in the report.
“We are at a loss as to how this can be stretched to mean interference. There is nothing said or done that stopped the Special Prosecutor from going ahead to undertake a full and proper investigation of Agyapa beyond the assessment done.
“All he had to do was continue his mandate to undertake an investigation and continue with prosecution if a prima facie case could be established,” the statement said.