Ayine sues Amidu over age; wants court to annul his Special Prosecutor nomination

Ayine sues Amidu over age; wants court to annul his Special Prosecutor nomination
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah
Date: 12-02-2018 Time: 04:02:47:pm

Former Deputy Attorney General has filed a suit at the Supreme Court that could potentially scuttle the Parliamentary vetting and subsequent approval of the Special Prosecutor nominee Martin Amidu.

Dr Dominic Ayine claims Martin Amidu, 66, is beyond the statutory age of employment into public service and is seeking order of the court to have his nomination annulled.

In the event Parliament proceeds with the vetting and approves same, Ayine wants the court to go ahead and annul the approval of Martin Amidu.

In a statement of case, Ayine is praying the court to declare that "by true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1) (d) and 199 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1) (d)."

The suit comes barely 24 hours to the much-anticipated vetting of Martin Amidu by the Appointment Committee of Parliament, Tuesday.

Background

Martin Amidu popularly called Citizen Vigilante was appointed by the president, Nana Akufo-Addo as the Special Prosecutor nominee in fulfilment of his campaign promise.

In a bid to do away with complaints of witch-hunting the president promised to establish a Special Prosecutor office, independent of the Attorney General to prosecute corruption offences in public office.

On January 11, the president named Amidu as the man to steer the affairs of the new office, much to the excitement of many Ghanaians and civil society organisations.

A former Attorney General under the late John Mills administration and a member of the NDC, Martin Amidu is credited for his tenacity in the judgement debt scandal he fought as a private citizen and won against Alfred Woyome, Waterville and Isofoton.

The president believes Amidu’s commitment to rule of law, his passion to fight crime, corruption in public service makes him the best candidate for the office even though the man is 66-years-old.

But members of the minority NDC, as well as a section of the NPP, are not happy with the appointment.

With just a day for him to be vetted by Parliament, Ayine has brought a case against him at the Supreme Court seeking to have his nomination annulled.

In a suit filed Monday, a copy of which has been intercepted by Myjoyonline.com, Dominic Ayine is seeking seven reliefs from the court including “a declaration that by reason of age (66) Mr Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu is not qualified or eligible to be approved by Parliament as the Special Prosecutor under Section 13(3) of the office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959).”

Article 199 of the constitutions states: "Retiring age and pension;
(1)  A public officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty years...
(4)  Notwithstanding clause (1) of this article, a public officer who has retired from the public service after attaining the age of sixty years may, where the exigencies of the service require, be engaged for a limited period of not more than two years at a time but not exceeding five years in all and upon such other terms and conditions as the appointing authority shall determine." [Inserted by section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (Amendment) Act, 1996 (Act 527)."

Ayine is also seeking a declaration that any purported nomination by the Attorney General or approval by Parliament must be declared “unconstitutional, null and void." 

He argued further that by nominating Martin Amidu, and offering him for vetting and approval by Parliament, both the President and the Attorney General “have violated Article 199(1) of the Constitution. If Parliament proceeds to approve his appointment, it would also be acting unconstitutionally.”

 

 

 

 

 

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