Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has slammed the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for fishing for courts and judges that will determine cases in its favour at all cost.
According to him, the OSP’s petition to the Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo to remove Justice Edward Twum from continuing to hear cases between the OSP and former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah, and any other cases involving the Office is scandalous.
The former Special Prosecutor is at a loss that Kissi Agyebeng, the current Special Prosecutor, “had finally summoned the audacity and impunity to personalise the process of criminal justice administration by writing a petition to the Chief Justice against a Justice of the Superior Court from presiding over all criminal cases he is conducting on behalf of the Republic of Ghana.”
“After exceling in unlawfully fishing for evidence to prosecute citizens in violation of the enjoyment of their fundamental rights and freedoms to personal liberty and presumption of innocence, Kissi Agyebeng has now graduated to fishing for a court and a judge to do his bidding in the investigation and prosecution of all cases he prosecutes before the courts of Ghana,” Mr. Amidu said in his latest epistle.
The Special Prosecutor on October 11, 2023, petitioned the Chief Justice to remove Justice Edward Twum from the ongoing case between the OSP, Madam Dapaah and her husband, Daniel Osei Kufuor.
An Accra High Court was expected to hear an application filed by the OSP seeking confirmation of seizure of $590,000 and GH¢2.73 million found in the home of the former minister as well as freezing of her seven bank accounts.
An earlier application filed by the OSP was dismissed by the court because it did not satisfy the rules, and the court indicated that the OSP should have applied for a warrant before seizing the cash sums.
The case was, however, adjourned to October 18 as the presiding judge stated that he had received a letter indicating that the OSP had petitioned the Chief Justice for him to recuse himself from the case.
The judge subsequently adjourned the case to await the decision of the Chief Justice.
The pending petition has also affected a second case before the court in which the OSP has charged Madam Dapaah for failing to comply with a request to declare her property and income.
The OSP, who was absent in court and had no legal representation either, took to X (formerly Twitter) moments after the court proceeding to announce that the Office had petitioned the Chief Justice.
“The request is grounded on the OSP’s well-founded belief that Justice Edward Twum appears to be highly prejudiced against the OSP and the person of the Special Prosecutor.
“Consequently, as it stands, the OSP would not and cannot be reasonably expected to be parties to proceedings before the said judge,” the statement added.
Mr. Amidu’s Take
But both the decision to petition the Chief Justice and the manner in which the current Special Prosecutor ‘attacks’ decisions of courts when they do not go in his favour appears to irk Mr. Amidu.
“The Special Prosecutor, a public officer, paid and protected at the expense of the taxpayer was merely engaged in grandstanding in the media to spite the court for its ruling, pure and simple,” Mr. Amidu said about Mr. Agyebeng’s reaction to the court dismissing his first application.
He further indicated that, “This time round Kissi Agyebeng has resorted to fishing for a court and a judge who would decide cases in his favour instead of in accordance with the law. Kissi Agyebeng is more competent, experienced and excels in the persecution of citizens presumed innocent under the Constitution in the court of public opinion than at an adversarial trial before a court of law.”
He was equally concerned that the Special Prosecutor, a public servant prosecuting cases on behalf of the state could presume that the trial judge appears to be prejudiced against him.
“As demanded under the 1992 Constitution, the OSP and the Special Prosecutor have no personal or vested interest in the outcome of cases presented before the superior court to engender prejudice or bias against the OSP or the person of the Special Prosecutor,” Mr. Amidu pointed out.
Mr. Amidu was also of the view that the Special Prosecutor is trying to unduly delay the hearing of his application against Madam Dapaah and her husband so that he can postpone decisions by the court in those matters which may expose his professional incompetence and inexperience as an investigator and a prosecutor to the Ghanaian public again.
“This is a clear unlawful and unconstitutional conduct unbecoming of any professional and responsible public officer which I had hitherto not witnessed from any experienced and competent professional investigator and prosecutor appearing in court as officer of the court,” he stated.
Mr. Amidu also suggested that the OSP is likely to repeat his petition as an objection before the court in case the Chief Justice dismissed his petition, so as to further delay the cases.
“This will enable him to frustrate the administration of justice by holding on to the property and bank accounts of the Respondents he administratively seized and froze again on September 5, 2023 for as long as he unlawfully can.
“Whatever the delays and fishing for a court and a judge the petition of the Special Prosecutor occasions, justice will eventually prevail even if those cases were put before any other court and judge of the superior courts and the heavens fall,” Mr. Amidu added.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak