Sup Court Decides Amidu Age Case Today

Martin Amidu

The Supreme Court will today deliver its judgement in the case in which a National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) is challenging the decision by President Akufo-Addo to appoint former Attorney General (AG) Martin A.B.K. Amidu as Special Prosecutor.

The outcome of the judgement will determine whether Mr. Amidu, who is the first ever Special Prosecutor, will remain in office or the President will have to appoint a new person to replace him.

The determination of the case was temporarily delayed because the panel hearing the case had to be reconstituted following the retirement of one of the panel members, Justice Sophia O. Adinyira, on July 31, last year.

The panel hearing the arguments had indicated that they may not be able to see the case to its ‘logical conclusion’ before their colleague judge proceeded on her retirement, and as a result the panel had to be reconstituted.

It was subsequently reconstituted, and lawyers for the applicant and the Office of the AG filed their legal arguments as directed by the court in May last year paving the way for the judgement.

Main Case

Dr. Ayine, NDC MP for Bolgatanga East and former deputy AG under the Mahama NDC administration, filed the action at the Supreme Court challenging that Mr. Amidu’s age did not qualify him to be appointed as the Special Prosecutor after being nominated by the AG.

He then sought reliefs, including “a declaration that by a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190 (1) (d), 199 (1) (4) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the requirement age of all holders of public offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1) (d), is 60 years, anyhow not beyond 65 years.”

The AG’s Office, in its response to the suit, urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the suit, saying it was being “born out of narrow, inadequate and literal construction of the scope of the application of Article 199 of the Constitution.”

The NDC MP then pushed that Mr. Amidu is not “a proper party to the suit” as the action is seeking to challenge the AG’s decision to nominate Mr. Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, as well as his presentation by the President to Parliament for approval.

However, Deputy AG Godfred Yeboah Dame, defending the President’s decision on legal grounds, stated that the decision to appoint Mr. Amidu was taken in the course of the official duties of the President and the AG, and that Mr. Amidu could not be a party to the suit.

He then urged the court to dismiss the suit and the court agreed with the deputy AG and subsequently struck out the name of Mr. Amidu as defendant in the suit, leaving the issue of whether Mr. Amidu can continue to be the Special Prosecutor looking at his age as being pushed by the NDC MP.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak