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Ghana’s Anti-corruption Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, Resigns

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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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Burkina Faso’s President Kabore Wins Reelection

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President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso has been re-elected to lead the West African nation for another five years.

Preliminary results from the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) on Thursday showed Kabore won 57.9% of the vote, while main challengers, Eddie Komboigo and Zephirin Diabre, got 15.5% and 12.5% respectively.

The President needed over 50% to avoid a second round.

Burkina Faso’s election, held on November 22, was largely marred by insecurity that prevented swathes of the West African country from voting.

His main opponents had accused Kabore, who was elected in 2015, of failing to contain Islamist and ethnic violence that forced 1 million people to flee their homes during his first term.

Kabore’s opponents have raised concerns about the validity of the vote count. But the electoral commission has dismissed those allegations and an international observer mission gave the election a mostly clean bill of health.

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President Buhari Will Set Nigeria On Fire If… -Governor Wike

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President Muhammadu Buhari will set Nigeria on fire if he chooses to turn a deaf ear to Nigerians’ demands, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said on Thursday.

Wike, who spoke on a Channels TV programme, Sunrise Daily, said Buhari should implement the requests made at a meeting between Ministers, Federal lawmakers, and leaders of the six geopolitical zones over #EndSARS protests.

News Central reports that the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, led the presidential delegation. They met with Governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday.

At the meeting, the South-South leaders, including the Rivers State governor demanded the restructuring of the country, in line with the principle of true federalism, saying it will guarantee peace, security and stability in the country.

Speaking of the meeting on Thursday, the Rivers state governor said: “I am not a pessimist. I don’t believe that because you didn’t do what you agreed to do yesterday, therefore, you will not do what you agree to do today. Even if he (Buhari) has not done what he told Nigerians he would do, he can say, look, I promised Nigerians yesterday, I didn’t do that and that is affecting my integrity and so, for people who know me, I will implement what I have said.

“People have raised the issue that they don’t think anything will come out of the dialogues. I don’t agree with them. I believe that if the President does not do it, given the opportunity he has now, he will be putting Nigeria on fire.”

He added,“He (Buhari) may not necessarily implement everything the people may want but let the people see the concrete evidence that under President Buhari, he has been able to implement one, two, three, four demands by the people.

“If he (Buhari) doesn’t take this opportunity now to implement some of these requests, I don’t think it will be very good for Nigerians and for his legacy.”

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Uganda Jails Former Presidential Aspirant Three Years For Abusing Judges

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Ivan Samuel Ssebadduka, a former presidential aspirant in Uganda, has been jailed three years by the country’s Supreme Court for using abusive language against the judges, including calling them a “council of fools”.

The 36-year-old was jailed for contempt of court and will spend the next three years in Uganda Government Prison Kitalya.

Ssebadduka had in September filed a petition at the Supreme Court, seeking to stop a requirement for presidential aspirants to collect nomination signatures.

He also wanted the court to suspend the coronavirus safety restrictions issued by the health ministry on the conduct of campaign rallies.

He used the offensive remarks while defending the petition before the judges.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owinyi-Dollo was quoted as saying that criticism against judges should be accurate and fair, and should not infringe on the the rights of others.

On November 11, local media reported that Ssebadduka, a week after he was summoned by the Supreme Court to explain why he shouldn’t be found guilty for contempt of court after using abusive language against Judges, followed up with more insults. He described the Justices as incompetent, saying the accusations of contempt of court are baseless because the justices can’t challenge him legally.

“We didn’t offend you or you’re so-called Supreme Court because it is not a court in the first place. It is a Council of fools…” Ssebadduka’s response to the summons read in part.

He added, “It is very unfortunate that we entrust you with the judiciary because you don’t deserve to be judges. A judge must have judgment but it is very unfortunate that you don’t have common sense, which is common”, reads his response in part.

After the ruling, Ssebadduka was immediately handcuffed by security and driven to his next home of three years.

The Supreme court decision in Uganda is final as it is the last appellate court in the country, and unless the justices choose, for some reason, to review their decision or Ssebadduka gets a presidential pardon, he will be expected to serve his entire jail term.

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