I’m not surprised ‘rigid’ Amidu resigned – Mahama
The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says he is not surprised Martin Amidu resigned as Special Prosecutor.
According to him, Mr Amidu who resigned on November 16 is a rigid person who does not bend to winds of influence.
“Martin is someone we have worked with and he has a certain rigidity. We have flexibility and rigidity; he is on the side of rigidity. When he decides to stand somewhere, that is it, he won’t move.
“Before the  election, he used to write a lot of things about me. Most of them were not true. During his vetting, he told the committee the writings were informed by perceptions.
“When he was appointed after the elections, they knew he had a certain antipathy towards me so they expected he would use the bitterness to pursue me or prosecute members of my government. At the beginning that was perception but in Parliament, he had in a unanimous approval from our side as well. We decided to give him the benefit of the doubt to see how he’ll do his job,” he said on an Accra-based station.
President Akufo-Addo nominated Mr Amidu on January 11, 2018, with plaudits from civil society organisations. It was described as a plus for the government’s fight against corruption by anti-graft campaigners.
Before his nomination, he had single-handedly taken on shady government deals in the past, including the GHc 51 million paid to businessman Woyome, and Waterville holdings.
It was a fight that got him the moniker, ‘Citizen vigilante’ as his cases before the Supreme Court compelled the government to chase Woyome and beneficiaries of other shady deals.
When he was appointed on February 20, 2018, many hoped that his office would become the government’s biggest arsenal against corruption. But it never was.
Amidu had complained about the lack of logistics, office space, and personnel to champion his cause.
Last year, his office was allocated 180 million cedis as the war chest for the fight against corruption. Out of this, he claimed he received only GHc 3 million.
But it appeared to be a drop in the ocean as nothing more than epistles came from the Special Prosecutor’s office.
Several corruption cases before him including that of the sacked Public Procurement Authority, the galamsey bribery scandal against a presidential staffer, Charles Bissue and the Airbus scandal had been gathering dust as he failed to provide updates.
Many, particularly government appointees, accused him of failing to make good use of the government’s goodwill.
When he resigned, he fired salvos President Nana Akufo-Addo, accusing of meddling in his work with the president under the illusion that he would be a poodle.
The President denied the garland of accusations and blamed Mr Amidu for failing to make good use of the government’s commitment to his office.
The presidency claimed that out of the GH₵65 million released to Mr Amidu meant for recruitment and other logistics, he managed to use only GH₵ 5 million.
He was also accused of refusing a number of office accommodation under flimsy excuses including the fact that keys to a refurbished office were sent through a messenger.
But in his interview with Power FM, former President Mahama claimed the government had never been serious about the Office of Special Prosecutor.
“First, they refused to fund the office, second, accommodation and other logistical problems which would have empowered the office against the fight against corruption took more than two years to fund that office.
“Even the law setting up the office tied his hands because they handed over all the power to the board. If the board does not give him the permission he can’t do anything,” explained.
According to Mr Mahama, being a rigid person who had been tamed, it was just a matter of time for Mr Amidu to explode as he did.
While in office, the former President and Mr Amidu were involved in shadow boxing over the Airbus scandal in which the latter accused the former of being Government Official One under whose watch Airbus paid bribes in the purchase of aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces.
On November 9, Mr Amidu descended on former President Mahama who had earlier described him as a “coward” for mentioning him in the Agyapa corruption risk and assessment report, which had nothing to do with him.
Mr Amidu in his report had mentioned that Mr Mahama was the Government Official One mentioned in the British court documents which indicted aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, for paying bribes in Ghana and other countries between 2011 and 2015.
The British and American governments found the company culpable after investigating its business deals dating back to more than a decade.
Mr Mahama said the Special Prosecutor’s conduct with respect to the Agyapa report was an attempt at equalisation and called out Mr Amidu who he also used unprintable words on.
He dared the Special Prosecutor to provide his evidence which suggested he was engaged in any acts of corruption
Mr Amidu fired back. The Special Prosecutor in a strongly worded statement on November 9, 2020, challenged the former president and NDC flagbearer to be brave and present himself for investigations into the scandal.
He said he had enough evidence to prove that the former President was complicit in his investigations.
He added that he had decided to hold onto his investigations until after the December 7 general elections were over.
“Your Excellency, the wise and the brave former President John Dramani Mahama, man-up, wise-up, and be brave enough to come with two lawyers of your own choice to be cautioned and interrogated by this Office to demonstrate your valour and wisdom as not being elected Government Official 1 and also as not being the first guarantor to Samuel Adam Mahama’s passport application.”