Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has told President Nana Akufo-Addo that his second term of office will not be any different from the first as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.
“I also do not see any serious non-partisan prospect of any improvement in preventing and fighting corruption in Your Excellency’s next term of office in 2021”, Mr Amidu told the President in his resignation letter.
Mr Amidu, who resigned from office on Monday, 16 November 2020, also accused Mr Akufo-Addo in his resignation letter, of interfering with his independent mandate as far as his probe into the controversial Agyapa Royalties transaction is concerned.
The former Attorney General said he had good intentions for the Office of the Special Prosecutor but things turned out differently due to under-resourcing, under-funding and under-staffing.
“I had also stated at my vetting for approval by parliament on 13 February 2018, which was broadcast to the whole world that the Office of the Special Prosecutor will be innovatively operationalised and run effectively and efficiently, in accordance with international best practice to be able to achieve its objective of preventing, investigating, prosecuting corruption and corruption-related offences and recovering assets of corruption”.
“Unfortunately, by July 2020, I had not been able to have an office staffed by independently-recruited and impartial staff operating within a credible institutional culture of anti-corruption to achieve the mandate of the office.
“This was the undertaking I made to parliament and the people of Ghana on oath during my vetting for approval for appointment. The whole proceedings of my vetting for approval for appointment is still available online and I am most disappointed listening to it years down the line”, he said.
He added: “The compulsion to use a limited number of seconded staff in a three-bedroom and boys’ quarters accommodation, undermines the achievement of the object of the office and my undertaking on oath before parliament”.
In Mr Amidu’s view, “one cannot seriously continue to prevent and fight corruption by depending on seconded staff of a two-year duration (renewable for another year), who are looking forward to and/or over their shoulders to returning to their main employers who consequently may have more influence over them than the Special Prosecutor under whom they are supposed to work”.
He, nonetheless, expressed gratitude to the president for his assistance while in office as the first Special Prosecutor.
“I am most grateful for every assistance and support Your Excellency, Mr President, offered me since my appointment on 23 February 2018.
“Regrettably, our wishes have not materialised during Your Excellency’s first term in office for obvious operational and political reasons; and we now, fundamentally, disagree on a non-partisan professional approach to the prevention of corruption and fighting corruption to make it a high-risk enterprise for public officers”, Amidu observed.
“My view has always been that: If I cannot assist Your Excellency the President in a non-partisan professional way to prevent and fight corruption, I should not hurt Your Excellency by continuing to occupy the position of the Special Prosecutor”.
Mr Amidu also revealed that he has not been paid since he took office.
“It is essential for me to state for the purpose of the records and contrary to public assertions that my appointment letter was received on 5 February 2020 (almost two years after my appointment).
“The copy addresses made no effort 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 23 February 2018 to the date of this letter of resignation.
“I accepted your offer on 10 January 2018 to be nominated the first Special Prosecutor because Your Excellency the President and Ghanaians knew I had been a non-partisan 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 a non-partisan and independent, effective, efficient and impartial anti-corruption office of the special prosecutor before the end of the first term of Your Excellency, Mr President.
“This has not been possible for several reasons, including those expressly stated hereinbefore. I have delayed since 2 November 2020 in submitting my letter of resignation to Your Excellency to enable me to formally facilitate a smooth transition from my tenure to the Deputy Special Prosecutor, who, by law, has to act as the Special Prosecutor, for the meantime. She has also not been paid any emoluments since her appointment and you may wish to redress that situation for her now that I am out of the way”.