Former Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, Dr. Dominic Ayine has been ‘shot down’ by Parliament in a bid to prevent the House’s approval of the Special Prosecutor.
The law maker’s attempt was in relation to the fact that there is an impending suit before the Supreme Court which relates to the subject matter, and therefore prayed the House to stay the process pending the decision of the Court on the matter.
The Chairman of the Appointment’s Committee of Parliament and First Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Joseph Osei Owusu in seeking to move the motion for the approval of the House on the nomination of the Special Prosecutor, which nomination was referred to it for consideration, indicated that, none of the matters discussed during the Committee’s sittings and also covered by the Committee’s report bothered on anything pending judicial determination.
He was of the view that Article 93(2) did not matter in the circumstance under consideration; and therefore sought to move the motion for approval of the report of the committee, in view of the overwhelming consensus by the Committee of nominee.
Drawing the attention of the Speaker under a point of Order per Standing order 93(1), Hon. Ayine indicated that he was drawing the attention of the House to a pending suit at the Supreme Court (Suit No: J1/5/2018) involving Dr. Dominic Ayine Vs. the Attorney General and Martin Alamisi Amidu.
He therefore invited the Speaker to make a decision “with regard to whether, and the extent to which dealing with the report of the committee would be pre-judicial of the case before the Court”.
He added that any comment, whether adverse or commendatory on the matter, may send a wrong signal to the Supreme Court in the determination of the case before it, siting further a ruling of a Speaker of the Parliament of New Zealand to support his argument.
The Minority Leader and Member for Tamale South, Hon Haruna Iddrisu on his part indicated that, the weight of the fight against corruption is weightier than an individual, and that Mr. Martin Amidu would work with institutions, for which matter his person would not matter most in the discharge of his duties as the Special Prosecutor.
Where he, however disagreed with him is pitching articles he wrote and his supposed ‘citizen vigilantism’, against hurting the reputations of other persons, believing that he was within the constitutional provisions in that regard.
He further indicated that, all Laws including that of the Special Prosecutor takes their basis from the constitution and that whatever he does or chooses to do, he cannot be in breach of the Constitution, adding however he has no objection in principle to Martin Amidu’s appointment.
The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu (Sompahene) on his part, prayed the Speaker to rule Hon. Ayine completely out of order because per the standing orders of the House, if an application has not been moved and seconded, there is nothing before the House to be objected to.
Ruling on the matter, the Speaker indicated that Hon Ayine did not serve any writ on the House, paving way for the House to go on with the consideration of approval of the nominee.
He earlier asked Hon. Ayine to site Ghanaian legal cases as reference to prove precedence, and support it with a foreign ruling, as is done in any Court of competent jurisdiction in Ghana, rather than using foreign case reference as case precedence.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Adwoa Safo therefore moved the motion for the approval of the nomination of the Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Burns Amidu, and seconded by the Majority Chief Whip, Hon. Ameyaw Cheremeh.
Hon. Ursula Owusu in contributing to the motion, said the competence of the nominee was never in doubt, for which reason the House should approve of his nomination, and for that matter the report of the Committee.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, who was in the House today indicated that, a mere indication of a suit does not suppose or represents an injunction on the House, so in her view, Parliament was free to consider the approval of the nominee in the absence of an injunction.
On what would happen if the reliefs sought by Hon Ayine are upheld by the Supreme Court, she said, appointments are revoked, so should that happens, revocation would be the option, but she was of the view that the Supreme Court would not nullify the decision, adding that “age in this case does not matter”.
Martin Alamisi Burns Amidu was therefore duly approved by the House as the Special Prosecutor.
Story: Frederick E. Aggrey