Former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, has waded into the controversial Presidential Commission set up to investigate issues relating to the just ended 2014 World Cup, accusing the government of trying to cover up.
“I am not aware that the NDC has changed its anti-economic crime and corruption agenda as founding principles rooted in the 4th June and 31st December Revolutions to now cover-up crimes by its political elite and government appointees using Commissions of Enquiry as Truth and Reconciliation Commissions,” Martin Amidu said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The statement was in reaction to a story on Myjoyonline.com in which Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga said the decision by government to elevate the Black Stars Committee into that of a commission was informed by the Ghana@50 ruling.
Per that ruling, public servants against whom adverse findings are made in a presidential commission of enquiry are not to be prosecuted.
Adverse findings were made against former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani and CEO of the defunct Ghana@50 Secretariat Charles Wereko Brobbey in a Presidential Commission set up in 2009 but an attempt to prosecute them at the court failed as the judge, Justice Marful-Sau ruled that the two, having already appeared before the Commission to testify, could not be prosecuted.
Mahama Ayariga told Myjoyonline.com they were guided by that scenario in their decision to appoint a Commission instead of the Committee which was initially announced.
According to him, President John Mahama preferred a Commission which would provide comprehensive information on what went wrong with the Black Stars campaign with the view to changing systems rather than just searching for criminal prosecutions which a committee’s finding may merely lead to.
“Right from the beginning you have to decide which punishment you want. Do you want the punishment that comes with an adverse findings being made against that person or you want the punishment that comes with criminal prosecution in the court of law. If you choose the adverse findings you cannot later say again you are going to prosecute the person under the criminal laws. That will be treating the person unfairly….”
But former Attorney General, who described himself as a citizen vigilante is appalled by the decision of government.
He accused President John Mahama of selective application of the law and covering up for persons accused of corruption.
“Political friends and collaborators are being asked to pay restitution for their crimes while enemies even within the NDC are threatened with prosecution. Ghana has gotten to the point where today an NDC President is guided by the type of punishment he prefers in deciding on whether or not to set up a Commission of Enquiry.
“This is not what I spent my youthful life for in partaking in the ideals of the 4th June and 31st December revolutions of zero tolerance for all forms of bribery, corruption and economic crime which now underpin the 1992 Constitution and the NDC Constitution, both of which I took a leading role in crafting,” he stated.