By Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, Feb. 13, GNA - Mr Martin Amidu, the President’s Nominee for the Office of Special Prosecutor, on Tuesday said he accepted the position because he felt it was time to fight the canker of corruption rather than fight the vehicle to be used in the fight.
He told the Appointments Committee of Parliament, in Accra, that his acceptance of the position of the Special Prosecutor is not because of the status it brings but the opportunity to fight bribery and corruption in the country.
“I have dedicated myself to the defence of the constitution. It is important that this country is stabilized and not give an opportunity for anybody to use corruption as a reason to destabilize the country.”
Identifying himself as the best person for the job, the Special Prosecutor Designate, Mr Amidu promised to remain independent in the discharge of his duty, and would be committed to probity, transparency and accountability, adding that, the Office would employ independent prosecutors and investigators without political colours.
Asked whether he would be able to live with people whom he might have differences, the nominee said he was not prepared to live in harmony with criminals, and that, he has the ability to “‘live in harmony with all manner of persons but not criminals.
“I have lived in harmony with decent people for all my life but I cannot live in harmony with criminals; that one I, must confess, I can’t,” he said.
The Nominee, who had been a member of the National Democratic Congress and its predecessor, the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), was asked if his acceptance to serve in the ruling government of the New Patriotic Party was an opportunity to serve in an all-inclusive government said: “Crime is crime.
“And political party cards must not be an insurance against crime.”
According to him, President Akufo-Addo has chosen the right candidate for the office of the Special Prosecutor, and added, that former President Jerry Rawlings was aware of his excellent natural skills at conducting investigations.
“If you want anybody who’ll be meticulous in investigations, the President has made the best choice for you,’ he said, adding that, the Office would employ independent prosecutors and investigators.
Mr Amidu said he critiqued the Special Prosecutor Bill, saying: “I saw some issues with the Bill. I called the attention of the president about challenges in it.”
He added that most of the issues he raised had been taken care of and later passed into law, adding “I was called by the president and offered the position. I accepted the position because I felt it was time to fight the canker of corruption rather than fight the vehicle to be used in fighting the corruption.”
Mr Amidu, who until January 19 2012, was former Attorney General under Administration of the late President John Atta Mills, debunked the allegations that he was sacked.
He said a letter he signed in connection, supposedly to apologise to the late President, was based on advice from the Council of State Chairman, the late Prof Kofi Awoonor; and Captain Kojo Tsikata, the two he said he had known for a very long time.
Mr Amidu said his exit from that office was as a result of breach of trust, and though he was responsible for the apology letter and the content, the circumstances under which he wrote it were “reprehensible.”
The Nominee said he went to court to challenge the view that he was sacked from the Administration of the late President Mills for insubordination, for which he said the records are available for all to verify.
On awards he had received, Mr Amidu said although he had been called to receive awards for his activism against corruption and contribution to public service, he had always rejected such awards “because for me, I joined government only to serve”.
The nominee said he generally does not like taking awards because he wants his work to be about national interest, and will prefer if people emulate him rather than offering him awards.
“It is not about Martin Amidu; it is about Ghana, emulate what I am doing, don’t give me awards, it is about emulating what I am doing so that Ghana will be better,” he said.