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Parliament Has Not Invited Me Over Special Prosecutor Bill – Martin Amidu

Former Attorney General and anti-corruption campaigner, Martin Amidu has said he has not received any official communication from the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee of Parliament to his appear before the committee and contribute to the Bill setting up the office of the Special Prosecutor.

The Chairman of the Committee, Ben Abdallah on Eyewitness News on Wednesday said Mr. Amidu had been invited to make recommendations the Special Prosecutor Bill 2017 which is currently under consideration.

But a statement issued by Mr. Amidu said he has been disrespected.

“I think it is absurd that when a Committee of Parliament wishes to invite a senior citizen to assist it in its work it should do so through the press before any formal invitation to the citizen is made or received. At least I served and continue to

serve my nation in my own way and deserve a modicum of respect if my services are needed by any organ of the Government. I should not be treated as anybody’s appendage. I have equal rights of citizenship and respect under the 1992 Constitution,” he added.

Mr. Amidu had earlier punched holes into the much hyped Special Prosecutor Bill which government intends to use as a tool to fight corruption in the country.

In a 25-page paper critiquing aspects of the Bill, Amidu questioned the inclusion of a clause that seeks to limit the Special Prosecutor to specific crimes.

“The attempt to distinguish types of corruption offences that may be investigated and prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor sends the clear message to Ghanaians that the President and his Government now accept that certain types of corruption offences are not serious for prosecution or at least to be prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor.”

“Why did the Criminal Offences Act, (1960) not balkanize all criminal offences into serious and permissive crimes? Because, then there would have been no need for a criminal Code. The basic principle of law is that criminal offences are cast in general terms as deterrence to enable the prosecutor the discretion to decide which to prosecute. This basic first year general legal system study. As citizens, we need to treat each other with respect even when we hold a public warrant to represent the Republic,” he said in the paper.

Meanwhile, according to Ben Abdallah, inviting Mr. Amidu forms part of efforts by the committee to receive inputs from the general public on the subject before it is passed into law.

“This Bill is not final; we are yet to receive inputs from the general public.

Martin Amidu himself who has brought out his perspective on the seeming inconsistency of the bill has been written to and we are hoping that Martin Amidu will heed to the invitation of the committee and appear before the committee to share his thoughts,” Ben Abdallah said on Eyewitness News on Wednesday.

“If in the wisdom of the plenary, Martin Amidu’s position so far as the law is concerned is a sound position, the plenary will take same on board,” he added.

Compensate Weija Dam Victims - Chief Appeals To Akufo-Addo

There is growing lamentation among 24 landowners who lost their livelihoods due to the construction of the Weija Dam several years ago.

According to them, the persistent delay in the payment of their compensation by various governments continues to affect their families.

Since 1977 when their lands were taken away from them by the government through the ministry of water resources works and housing to pave way for the construction of the dam, they are yet to receive any compensation.

Chief of Ngleshie Amanfro in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region, Nii Kwashie Gborlor IV, who is leading the crusade for the payment of the compensation at a well attended press conference in Accra yesterday said that their livelihoods have seriously been affected by the takeover of their farm lands by government since they depended solely on their lands for a living.

According to him, the victims found it deeply worrying that after 40 years, successive governments have still not kept faith with them.

In this regard, Nii Kwashie Gborlor IV appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to impress on the relevant state institutions to pay them their compensation.

He noted that although four of the victims had already received their compensations, the remaining 24 were yet to receive theirs even though victims of the recently built Bui Dam have received their compensations.

“…so victims of Weija Dam also want to know why successive governments have failed to pay them their compensations since 1977 when the Dam was built. This is unfair because they feel helpless and frustrated,” he noted.

Nii Kwashie Gborlor IV, therefore, appealed to the government of President Akufo-Addo to ensure that the right compensations are paid to the affected land owners.

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