Ghana’s anti-corruption special prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has resigned saying his mandate and efforts had been compromised.
Mr Amidu’s appointment in 2018 by President Nana Akufo-Addo was greeted with great expectation in the country but the results were disappointing.
In a statement announcing his resignation, the former attorney general cited a lack of independence and freedom to execute his mandate.
He also accused President Akufo-Addo of interference although the president’s office has not responded to the claim.
Mr Amidu claimed that some staff members at his office, including himself, had not been paid salaries since their appointment.
He had previously cited a lack of co-operation from other state agencies, and attempts to compromise his staff who were pursuing corruption claims against public officials.
Among some of the high profile cases he was working on included an alleged $5m (£3.8m) scandal linked to an aircraft manufacturer, and a damning assessment of the government’s attempt to engage in a controversial gold royalties deal.
Many Ghanaians have expressed disappointment at his resignation.
In a statement he public shared, Mr Amidu said, “This is to inform the public that I resigned from my position as the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Special Prosecutor with immediate effect upon the submission of my letter of resignation with reference number OSP/2/AM/14 dated 16th November 2020 which was received at the Office of the President at 15:15 HRS this afternoon.
“I should not ordinarily be announcing my resignation to the public myself but the traumatic experience I went through from 20th October 2020 to 2nd November 2020 when I conveyed in a thirteen (13) page letter the conclusions and observations on the analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment on the Report On Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions and Other Matters Related Thereto to the President as Chairman of the National Security Council cautions against not bringing my resignation as the Special Prosecutor with immediate to the notice of the Ghanaian public and the world.
“In undertaking the analysis of the risk of prevention of corruption and anti-corruption assessment I sincerely believed that I was executing an independent mandate under the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Act, 2017 (Act 959) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018 (L. I. 2374).
“The reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption. My position as the Special Prosecutor has consequently become clearly untenable.
“It is essential for me to state for the purpose of the records, and contrary to public perceptions, that my appointment letter was received on 5th February 2020 (almost two (2)-years after my appointment). The copy addressees made no efforts 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 23rd February 2018 to the date of my letter of resignation.
“I accepted the offer on 10th January 2018 to be nominated to be Special Prosecutor because Mr. President and Ghanaians knew I have been an 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 an independent, effective, efficient and impartial anti-corruption Office of the Special Prosecutor before the end of the first term of Mr. President. This has not been possible for several reasons.
“The Deputy Special Prosecutor has also not been paid any emoluments since her appointment, and there is the need to redress that situation for her now that I am out of the way.
“The events of 12th November 2020 removed the only protection I had from the threats and plans directed at me for undertaking the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption assessment report and dictates that I resign as the Special Prosecutor immediately. Fear is the enemy of change and I am prepared from the vacuum created on 12th November 2020 to meet the threats of my demise as the price to pay for serving my country without fear or favour affection or ill will.
“I acted professionally through out in the discharge of my duties and my conscience is the anchor of my strength to face any consequences. I am grateful to every Ghanaian for both the support and criticisms during my tenure. When the real facts of my tenure become well known to the public in the future, history may judge me kindly. Ghana First!”
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