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Amidu’s petition not strong enough to justify Special Prosecutor impeachment – Clinton

A private legal practitioner Amanda Clinton, has expressed doubts regarding the strength of Martin Amidu’s petition against Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng.

In an interview, Madam Clinton argued that the petition, while detailed, fails to present a compelling case for an investigation or the formation of a committee to look into it.

While acknowledging the procurement issue being raised by Mr Amidu, she believes that alone may not be sufficient to establish a prima facie case for further action.

She referred to the Special Prosecutor Act of 2017, which stipulates that a special prosecutor can be removed for misconduct, incompetence, or actions that bring the office into disrepute.

However, she contended that the grounds outlined by Mr Amidu do not meet these criteria.

“Mr Amidu’s petition, although well laid out, does not go far enough to justify an investigation or a committee being set up because I don’t think a prima facie case necessarily exists apart from the procurement issue,” she said on Saturday.

She emphasised that while the office of the Special Prosecutor is responsible for investigating procurement issues, the petition must prove that Mr Agyebeng himself committed a crime to warrant removal.

The lawyer further dismissed other allegations, such as inducing staff from sister law enforcement agencies, as insufficient grounds for impeachment.

Drawing from her experience with the Attorney General’s department, she argued that recruiting top talent from various agencies, including the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), is a standard practice aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the Special Prosecutor’s office.

“Making efforts such as that to ensure convictions cannot be a ground for impeachment at all,” she emphasised.

Reinforcing her belief that the procurement issue is the only potentially valid concern in Mr Amidu’s petition, Madam Clinton however, noted that Amidu’s petition lacks the necessary substance to warrant serious consideration for removing Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng.

Background

On Friday, May 17, the news emerged that Mr Amidu had petitioned President Akufo-Addo seeking the removal of the incumbent Special Prosecutor.

The petition, dated April 30, 2024, was subsequently conveyed to the Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkonoo on May 6, 2024.

Mr Amidu alleges procurement breaches in the purchase of vehicles for the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and abuses involving judges and the administration of justice.

Other allegations include violations of citizens’ rights through arrests and detentions, violations of the right to information, and improper appointments of personnel to the office.

Chief Justice asks Kissi Agyebeng to respond to impeachment allegations

Meanwhile, the Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo, has instructed the Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng to provide his comments on the matters raised in a petition seeking his impeachment. According to her, this step is crucial in determining the appropriate course of action to be taken regarding the impeachment process.

Per the directive, the Chief Justice underscored the judiciary’s commitment to upholding due process and fairness in handling the matters.

“This is to forward to you a copy of the petition dated 30th April 2024 sent to the Office of the President which was forwarded to the Office of the Honourable Lady Chief Justice on 6 May 2024.

“Kindly provide your comments to the matters raised to enable the Honourable Chief Justice to determine if a prima facie case has been made out,” portions of the letter said.

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