Former Attorney General (AG) Martin Amidu has responded to comments made by former National Security Coordinator Larry Gbevlo Lartey, over why Mr Amidu was sacked from his position.
The comment which was made on facebook, seems to have infuriated Mr Amidu who in his statement copied to citifmonline.com, chronicled events and reasons to “prove” the former National Security Coordinator does not have a clue about what influenced that decision.
Gbevlo Lartey’s comment was triggered by an earlier statement released by Martin Amidu which explained why he was fired.
“I had made it clear to the Mills/Mahama Government as its Attorney-General that no prosecution in the scam involving the over GH¢51 million will succeed by targeting Woyome alone without Waterville, Austro-Invest, Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, the Chief State Attorney whose spouse EOCO revealed had received GH¢400,000 from Woyome while he was handling the case as an Attorney for the Government, and others. I had suggested that Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu should be persuaded to be a prosecution witness in lieu of prosecution. The Government disagreed, so I was removed from office,” he stated.
Gbevlo Lartey however did not seem to agree with Mr Amidu’s claims and responded to a discussion on the facebook wall of one, lawyer Samson Lardy Ayenini.
“Samson Lardy, I can assure you that was not the case on the matter of the sack. Scandalised might be mild!”
Mr Amidu’s subsequent response is below in a statement he issued on Saturday night.
MARTIN AMIDU NEVER DECLINED TO COMMENT ON GBEVLO-LARTEY’S ALLEGATION- RE: GBEVOLO ATTACKS AMIDU: BY MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU
I read a news item in the Daily Guide and on Ghanaweb both of 20th March 2015 with the title: “Gbevlo-Lartey Attacks Amidu over Woyome & Betty.” One Samuel Baubeng, who always made it his business to be present at the courts when I was pursuing the Woyome, and Isofoton cases in the Supreme Court, and my end of service entitlements in the High Court has been kind enough to forward to me excepts from Gbevlo-Lartey’s and Sampson Lardy Ayenini’s facebook walls on this matter as well.
The Daily Guide story was published under the name of my good friend Charles Takyi-Boadu who alleged in relation to this story that: “When DAILY GUIDE contacted Martin Amidu for a reaction, he declined to comment.”
My answer to Charles Takyi-Boadu is contained in my e-mail to him on 20th March 2015 as follows: “I see that the above news was published under your name and created the impression that: ‘“When DAILY GUIDE contacted Martin Amidu for a reaction, he declined to comment.”
You indeed called me but it was about Tony Lithur’s and I told you I would get back you with a written reply. You never made me aware that you had anything from Gbevlo-Lartey to report let alone to give me an opportunity to comment. Kindly do the decent thing as an ethical journalist by telling the public that you lied when you published that you contacted me for a reaction and I declined to comment.’
I also told Takyi-Boadu that: “The conversation between Larry Gbevlo-Lartey and Sampson Ayenini has been forwarded to me and I have read it. You appear to have embellished the discourse in your article with commentaries that are intended to mislead the public to provoke a response from me. I refuse to take your bait. I disagree with Larry’s understanding of my statement and his version of the facts. I will not allow you to reap the benefit of embellishing what he said on Facebook by provoking me to reply to your version and your intention to set us up for a fight to sell your paper.”
I am yet to read a retraction from the Daily Guide but it is important the public knows that I was never informed by the Daily Guide that it had any story from him it intended to publish the next day. Even in the case of Lithur, Brew & Co’s rebuttal, I did not refuse to comment. As I told Takyi-Boadu in my e-mail: “You indeed called me but it was about Tony Lithur’s and I told you I would get back to you with a written reply.”
Samuel Buabeng has already on his own and in my defence given a fitting reply to Gbevlo-Lartey on his facebook wall which I endorse entirely even though I would have advised him to hold his guns awhile.
Consequently, I will be letting him and the public down by still refusing to react for fear of any fight. Gbevlo-Lartey threw the first stone and no one can blame me!
Suffice it to say that all rational people know that any assertions that Larry Gbevlo-Lartey knew everything that happened in the Mills/Mahama Government just because he was National Security Co-ordinator are patently obvious and irredeemable presumptuous lies.
I had ministerial responsibility for security and intelligence as Minister of the Interior, and as Attorney General I was principal legal advisor to the Government and would not convey legal advice to the President through a National Security Co-ordinator, a subordinate officer under the 1992 Constitution.
Gbevlo-Lartey had an open and public grudge against Alfred Agbesi Woyome over some party primaries involving the former’s son in the Volta Region prior to the scam going public. As the Attorney General, I did not know even Woyome in person let alone to have any personal grudge against him.
My duty was to advice the President in accordance with my constitutional mandate without fear or favour, affection or ill will to prosecute all those involved. Should Gbevlo-Lartey not have recused himself from this whole Woyome investigations, the reports, and prosecution when he was in office because of the prior personal and public animosity between them on grounds of conflict of interest?
As for the incident of 13th January 2012 that he claims to know so much about, he was not present during the main discussion. Gbevlo-Lartey and Danquah, his deputy, came into the President’s office, the forum, after the discussions had concluded and the meeting was being adjourned to 3 pm to enable Captain Kojo Tsikata and Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama to join the meeting. He cannot, therefore, be talking of what really took place at that meeting from personal knowledge but from hearsay.
The 3p.m meeting never came on when I presented myself at the office of the Secretary to the President to await the meeting. Captain Tsikata came for me from the Secretary’s office to the Chief of Staff’s conference room for a “two-man”. My understanding was that he had been mandated by the President to convince me to rescind my decision to submit my resignation to the President.
Is Gbevlo-Lartey aware of the conversation and assurances Captain Tsikata whom I have had great respect for since our service together in the PNDC and NDC 1 & part of 2 gave me that convinced me to stay on and pursue all those implicated in the Woyome scam in the Court to its logical conclusion? That was the reason I amended the Writ and Statement of Claim that I filed in the High Court and was present myself in Court on 16th January 2012. There are e-mail discussions between Gbevlo-Lartey and myself on the draft amendment before I filed them at the behest of Captain Tsikata and the late Kofi Awoonor.
Was Gbevlo-Lartey consulted when the President delegated the then Member of the Council of State and my senior brother, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama on 18th January 2012 who invited me to his house with the demand from the President that I withdraw in writing my press statement of 12th January 2012 or be dismissed? I told Ahaji Iddrisu Mahama to convey to the President that I was ready for any eventuality and will not ever withdraw that truthful press statement. The next day, 19th January 2012 at 1 p. m I was handed a purported letter of termination of appointment with immediate effect only for a letter on the President’s official green stationery to go to the press under the signature of John Martey Newman stating that I had been dismissed for misconduct.
Later, representatives of the Government alleged that my misconduct was that I had failed at the meeting to name the Ministers of State involved in the Gargantuan crimes. That is when I wrote to the press and the public that I had named those Ministers in a report dated 6th January 2012 which the President had requested from me when I met him in New York on or about 15th December 2011, a copy of which I had addressed to the National Security Co-ordinator (for purely strategic and tactical reasons). I never classified the report for good reasons.
I made a press statement about Ministers of State involved in Gargantuan crimes. I also advised the President of my intention as the Attorney General to prosecute Woyome along with all his accomplices and to persuade the then Attorney General to be a witness or be prosecuted. I am then invited by a Member of the Council of State (incidentally Betty Mould-Iddrisu’s husband) at the behest of the President and told to withdraw my press statement accusing members of the Government and its card bearing members who use the NDC as an insurance against prosecutions for crime.
The next day the President true to his demand through Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama purports to dismiss me with immediate effect. Am I, therefore, wrong to contend that I was removed from office to prevent me from prosecuting the offending NDC Ministers and party members that raped the nation?
But I proved the Government wrong after leaving office in obtaining favourable decisions in the Supreme Court that shows that Ministers of State indeed flouted the 1992 Constitution in raping the consolidated fund for friends and NDC party financiers contrary to the NDC’s own values and Constitution. The Supreme Court decisions are final and no one can challenge my position on this matter as expressed in my press statement of 12th January 2012 – some of the names are expressly or impliedly contained in the Supreme Court judgments.
Gbevlo-Lartey after his sudden and unexpected removal from office may be seeking to curry favour with the Government by pretending to know everything that happened before I left office. I would want Gbevlo-Lartey and his type in the NDC to know for the avoidance of all doubts that on 4th September 2014 a High Court entered judgment in my favour recognizing that my alleged dismissal for misconduct was illegal, and wrong as it was without due process of law.
But has Gbevlo-Lartey forgotten that his actions in sending officials of the BNI to search my residence, arrest me and detain me for hours on 6th December 2012, without a Court warrant on the very eve of 2012 Election when tensions were very high in the country could have caused mayhem in the country if I had invited the media and others to my residence that day? I refused to be used by him as a scape goat in causing any upheavals that might lead to confusion and God knows what, at the nick of the elections!
Does Gbevlo-Lartey know whose votes would have been affected most if I had made his illegal search, arrest, and detention at the BNI public on that day even if the election still went ahead? Did Gbevlo-Lartey have the authority of the President to cause the search, my arrest and detention on the eve of an election with dire probable consequences for the nation? He did not! The President told my emissaries latter that he was not informed, was not aware, let alone to instruct him on that critical day in the nation’s history: the President undertook to deal with the matter. I prevented whatever unconstitutional intentions, if any, Gbevlo-Lartey might have had to use me innocently for: I preserved the dignity of Ghana as a democracy!
There are other things to be said about my latter relationship with Gbevlo-Lartey after I left office should he persist in peddling untruths about me to which he has no personal knowledge. He had used cajoling with promises, threats, and intimidations on me with the singular intention of shutting me up. I will not now be cowed and thugs can be sent to assassinate me should the Government or anybody wish, for all I care!
I am sending this rejoinder out at the weekend so that it does not on a working day detract from the real issues of the perception that the Government and the Attorney General were not bent on sincerely prosecuting Woyome and all his accomplices or retrieving the judgment debts ordered by the Supreme Court.
The intention to overwhelm me with personal attacks by agents of Government and the NDC some of whom may selfishly and greedily be seeking only to build their personal stomach infrastructure at the expense of the Republic will not succeed because those who have ever worked with me know that I was a work horse for the Governments I served and I still have the same energy to protect and defend the Constitution of Ghana as by law established even during my retirement.