Ah, Comrade Martin Amidu! What is this? Why this insinuation in paragraph 34 that I may have acted as an agent of the Presidency in expressing the generally governance-focused opinions I have expressed publicly in my recent Newsfile appearances on the matter of Mr Amidu’s resignation and other matters arising from that development.
Mr Amidu writes in paragraph 34 of his latest epistle that he sighted me at the Presidency on a certain working day before my appearance on Newsfile on Saturday, November 14. If he did see me at the Presidency, then that must have been on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 10.
And I don’t know which two lawyers Mr Amidu saw me with. But I was at Jubilee House that afternoon in the company of the chairperson (retired Justice Date-Bah) and the entire membership of the Law Reform Commission, all of them lawyers.
I sit on the Law Reform Commission, and on that Tuesday afternoon the Commission was at the Presidency for a pre-scheduled appointment with the President to discuss the business of the Commission.
That was the only item on the agenda, and the meeting took place with some media and the Deputy Attorney-General and two staffers of the President present. It wasn’t a long meeting. I think we were out of the place within 45 minutes. We went to Jubilee House together as a Commission and exited together, though in our separate cars.
At that meeting, I did not have the opportunity or privilege of a one-on-one moment or side meeting with the President, and I had no reason to expect one. I do not have that kind of access to or relationship with the Presidency, contrary to the insinuation in Mr Amidu’s paragraph 34.
The last time before November 10 that I had the privilege to interact briefly with the President was at a webinar/conference of the Ghana Bar Association held at the Law Courts Complex Auditorium on Monday, September 14, 2020, at which event the President was a guest of honour and I the keynote speaker.
I do not recall the last time I was at the Presidency before the November 10 Law Reform Commission meeting with the President, but I believe it was in late 2019, at a meeting between the Vice President and a section of civil society in connection with the referendum on the election of MMDCEs.
Mr Amidu’s paragraph 34 appears to suggest that somehow my presence at Jubilee House on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 10, had some relationship to or connection with my appearance on Newsfile the Saturday subsequent or with the opinions I expressed on that program. It is a rather bizzare suggestion, to say the least.
My views about Agyapa are well known, and I made them known publicly long before the announcement that the OSP was conducting a “corruption risk assessment” of the proposed transaction, a novel idea I have also publicly supported, though not in the form it turned out in this initial instance.
My support for the establishment and work of the OSP, including the appointment of Mr Amidu as Special Prosecutor, is also well known. And, as Mr Amidu’s letter indicates, I did meet with him sometime in 2019, together with my CDD colleague Dr. Kojo Asante, at the Labone offices of the OSP. This was in connection with some financial support that CDD had mobilized and arranged independently from donor sources for the Office even before Mr Amidu’s appointment or assumption of office.
In all of my public commentary since Mr. Amidu’s abrupt resignation as Special Prosecutor, I have endeavoured to examine the issues arising from his resignation from a broader governance perspective, avoiding the ad hominem.
Needless to say, I am surprised to see my name make such an unprovoked appearance in Mr Amidu’s latest release, with the wild suggestion that I may have been part of some conspiracy orchestrated from or by the Presidency to malign Mr Amidu in the wake of his resignation.
There is no substance whatsoever to that suggestion or conclusion. Indeed, it would be out of character for me to do that which Mr. Amidu’s paragraph 34 suggests.
Even sadder for me is that this post hoc detour by Mr Amidu is in no way helpful to the fight against corruption. In fact, it hurts that fight immensely.