The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has objected to an application by Bolga East MP, Dr. Dominic Ayine, to file a supplementary statement to the original case challenging the former’s eligibility to occupy the office of the Special Prosecutor on the basis of old age.
In a fresh application to the Supreme Court dated March 23, 2018, Dr. Ayine filed an application of leave from the Supreme Court to make available some aspects of the parliamentary debate that preceded the passing of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, with a view of assisting the court in its determination of the case.
But in response to the application, Martin Amidu argued that the rules of procedure at the Supreme Court do not allow Dr. Ayine and his lawyers to file such an application.
In a response to Dr. Ayine’s move, Martin Amidu said the fresh application was in bad faith.
While insisting that Dr. Ayine’s process was alien to the rules of the Supreme Court, he stressed that, the “Plaintiff in filing this application for leave to file Supplementary Statement of Case is unknown to any provision under PART FOUR of the Supreme Court Rules, 1996 (C. I. 16) , particularly Rules 46 and 48 thereof or any other Rules of the Supreme Court dealing with the invocation of its Original Jurisdiction.”
Martin Amidu said it was wrong for Dominic Ayine to seek to improve his cause after the defendants; himself and the Attorney General, have entered their defences without amending their statement of case.
“I believe that the Plaintiff caused the application for leave to be filed in bad faith and with the sole object of substantially changing the content of the plaintiff’s Writ and Statement of Case without allowing the Defendants an opportunity to answer same in an orderly manner in an amended Statement of Defendants’ Case or challenge same for introducing a new cause of action all together,” Martin Amidu said.
‘Amidu too old to serve’
Dr. Dominic Ayine, in February 2018, filed a suit at the Supreme Court, contending that Martin Amidu, who is 66 years of age, is too old to hold public office as Special Prosecutor based on Articles 190(1)(d), 199(1), 199(4), and 295 of the 1992 Constitution.
In his argument, he said the Office of the Special Prosecutor falls under the broad category of public officers who by the constitution must retire by age 60, or latest by age 65, via an extension.
But Martin Amidu, who has been vetted and approved by Parliament and also sworn-in by President Akufo-Addo, in his response to the suit, said Dominic Ayine had failed to “point to a single provision in the Constitution or Act 959 that states that the Special Public Prosecutor’s office shall be a public office and shall retire at the age of 60 years as was the case in Appiah Ofori’s case.”
He explained that Section 13 of Act 959 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act is not amenable to the provisions of Article 199 of the 1992 Constitution, which deals with the retiring age of public servants “because the Special Prosecutor and the Deputy Special Prosecutor are not appointed under Chapter 14 of the Constitution.”
The first hearing of the substantial case is yet to be held.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana