Akoto Ampaw backs Martin Amidu over stifling complaints

Private legal practitioner Akoto Ampaw says complaints made by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Burnes Kaiser Amidu, about his office being under-resourced are genuine and must be taken up by all well-meaning Ghanaians.

Barely 10 months in office as the Special Prosecutor of Ghana, Mr. Amidu has publicly complained his office lacks what it takes to fight corruption.

He mentions, among other things, lack of funding, non-existence of legislation and a small office space, as some of the challenges he faces.

His latest article titled the ‘Stifling independent investigative agency of funds’ has stirred controversy as some have questioned the rationale behind his numerous complaints without “a show”.

But Lawyer Ampaw, who was himself tipped for the role, agrees Mr. Amidu’s concerns are genuine.

He spoke in an exclusive interview with TV3 on Tuesday, November 13.

“I do think that Mr. Martin Amidu… has a point in complaining that he is not being given sufficient funds and as quickly as it ought to be. I think that is a fair point,” he told broadcast journalist Evelyn Tengmaa.

“Of course, he has a case,” reaffirming the point that Martin Amidu’s complaints are genuine.

He said there is the need for the Office of the Special Prosecutor to be properly set up if it has to be effective.

“It needs proper structural infrastructure and it needs resources, both material and financial,” he said.

He added the Office will also require the services of qualified and skillful investigators, lawyers, auditors, accountants, experts in international finance and banking, all of whom he insists must be “people of integrity”.

In his view, the most effective way of killing the Office of the Special Prosecutor will be to second the office with people from the police or the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

Mr. Ampaw thus challenged civil society and all citizens to join hands in pressurizing the government to have the Office of the Special Prosecutor resourced.

“The matter is larger than just Martin Amidu’s complaint,” he stressed, urging all Ghanaians to take it up.

He also called on the media to question the Finance Minister ahead of the 2019 budget reading due in Parliament on Thursday, November 15 as regards the provisions made for Mr Amidu’s office.

He believes Ghanaians can collectively hold the “ruling elite” accountable.

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