BY MUNTALLA INUSAH
AN ATTEMPT by lawyers of the former Deputy Attorney General (AG), Dr Dominic Ayine, to file a supplementary statement of case in the suit challenging the constitutionality of the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu as Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor (SP) has been dismissed.
Dr Ayine, also a Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East, in his lawsuit, contended that Mr Amidu, 66 years of age, is too old to hold public office, under which the Special Prosecutor’s office falls.
Lawyer Tony Lithur, counsel for Dr Ayine, while arguing his case, said the apex court had the power to accept the procedure they had adopted by way of seeking to file their supplementary statements of case instead of amending them.
Mr Amidu was in court and represented himself.
While opposing the application, the Deputy AG, Godfred Dame, said the applicant was supposed to have amended his statement of case instead and so the procedure adopted to move the supplementary statement of case was unknown to the rules of court.
The apex court, presided over by a single judge, Justice Gabriel Pwamang, ruled that the rules of procedure were clear and could not be bent just to please the applicants. He subsequently dismissed the application.
The substantive case entitled ‘Dominic Ayine versus the Attorney General and Martin Amidu’ is yet to be heard by the full bench of the Supreme Court.
Mr Lithur, upon the instructions of the MP, filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the eligibility of the Special Prosecutor nominee, Mr Amidu.
The applicant is also 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 60 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, using the same sections of the constitution, “no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in 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.”
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.”