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Amidu too old to be Special Prosecutor – MP

BY MUNTALLA INUSAH

muntalla.inusah@dailyheritage.com.gh

A PRIVATE legal practitioner, Mr Tony Lithur has upon the instructions of the Member of Parliament for Bolga Central, Dr Dominic Ayine filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the eligibility of Special Prosecutor nominee, Mr Martin Amidu.

Dr Ayine, a former Deputy Attorney General (AG) under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress administration in his lawsuit contends that Mr Amidu, 66 years of age, is too old to hold public office, under which the Special Prosecutor’s office falls.

Mr Amidu, a former AG who has earned himself the name ‘Citizen Vigilante’ for his public fight against corruption, was nominated by the President earlier this year and is expected to appear before the Appointments Committee of Parliament today.

The applicant is not seeking to injunct the process per his suit at the apex court; he is rather seeking among other things a declaration that “by a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1)(d), 199(1), 199(4), and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retirement age of all holders of public office created pursuant to Article(1)(d) is sixty years, anyhow not beyond (65).”

The 26-page document filed at the registry of the apex court further argued that, “any other interpretation would result in an unlawful amendment of Article 199 of the Constitution by legislation.”

According to him, sections of the constitution states that “no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1) (d).”

He is, thus, seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court that Mr Amidu, “is not qualified or eligible to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor under Section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959).

“A declaration that by true and proper interpretation of article 190(1)(d), 199(1), 199(4) and 294 of the 1992 constitution, the retirement age of pall holders of public officers created pursuant to 190(10d, is 60 year, anyhow not beyond 65 years.”

The former deputy AG is also seeking a declaration that “by a true and proper interpretation of articles of 190(1)(d), 199(4) of the 1992 constitution, no person above the age of 65 is eligible for employment of any public office created under article 190 (1)(d).”

He added that, “by reason of his age, 66 years, Mr amidu is not qualified or eligible to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor under section 13 article three of the office of the Special Prosecutor,  Act, 2018 Act 959.

According to him, “by reason of his age, 66 years, Mr Martin Amidu is not qualified or eligible to be approved by Parliament as Special Prosecutor under section 13(3) of the office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018, Act 959.

He contends that, “by reason of his age, 66 years, Mr amidu is not qualified or eligible to be appointed by His Excellency the President of the Republic as the Special Prosecutor under secretion 13 (3) of the office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018, Act 959.”

He is further seeking a declaration that any purported nomination by the AG or approval by Parliament of appointment by his Excellency the President of the Republic of Amidu as the Special Prosecutor under section 13, 3 of the office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018, Act 959 is unconstitutional and therefore null and void.

He prayed that, in the event, “Amidu has already been vetted and approved by Parliament and or appointed by his Excellency the President of the Republic as the Special Prosecutor under section 13, 3 of the office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 Act 959 prior to the final determination of his suit, an order annulling such nomination approval and appointment.”

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