Anti-corruption crusader and former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has waded into the debate about the delay by the government to constitute governing boards of certain statutory bodies and corporations affected by the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845).
The Minority in Parliament days pass raised concerns that activities of the boards of eight statutory funds namely, District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), Road Fund, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Petroleum – Related Funds, Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, have been grounded because the government has not been able to constitute them.
The former Special Prosecutor believes the undue delay on the side of the government “is a calculated and deliberate ploy to enable the executive to facilitate the taking of critical decisions by persons designated by the President to head these institutions, in the more than six months interim period, that has passed since the assumption of office of the President”.
In an article titled “The problem with governing boards goes beyond those listed in the presidential transaction”, dated June 10, 2021, the former Attorney General disclosed that the Office of the Special Prosecutor has become vulnerable since his exit.
“The Office of the Special Prosecutor has been in a vulnerable state since my resignation as the first Special Prosecutor and the assumption of the duties of the Special Prosecutor by the Deputy Special Prosecutor by operation of law,” he said.
He added: “Section 8 of Act 959 mandates that: ‘Where the Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes vacant, the President shall within six months appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor to that position’ and the word ‘vacancy’ is defined for purposes of Section 8 to ‘include resignation, death or vacation of post’. The fact needs to be underscored that the operative words in section 8 require that ‘the President shall within six months appoint a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor to that position’ (Emphasis supplied).
“It assumes a diligent President committed to good governance who would ensure that the nomination and parliamentary approval are completed, and the appointment made by him within the enjoined six months period.”
According to him, the Deputy Special Prosecutor is mandated under Section 17 (3) of the Act to “act in the absence of the Special Prosecutor or in the event of a vacancy in the position of the Special Prosecutor” which in the case of a vacancy shall be filled by the President within six months. Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor inter alia draws attention.
In a subtle response to some critics on why he still writes on issues about the office he exited prematurely, Martin A.B.K Amidu said after his resignation, his newfound job emanates from Article 3 of the Constitution, which enjoins every Ghanaian to defend it against bad governance.
He said Ghanaians should be on the lookout for more eye-opening articles from him.