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The Zombification of The Public In The Case of An Impeachment Petition – Martin Amidu


Mr Martin Amidu
Mr Martin Amidu

Joy FM broke the supposed news that I had petitioned the President to remove its arch friend and collaborator in the enterprise of fighting corruption at 6:00 am on 17 May 2024 based upon a document addressed only to Kissi Agyebeng, the Special Prosecutor, allegedly dated the previous day, 16 May 2024 bearing the signature of the Chief Justice. I questioned the authenticity of the Joy News allegations based on the supposedly leaked document from the Chief Justice on eight grounds in a publication on 27 May 2024 which Joy FM did not report. 

According to the Joy FM’s leaked document written by the Chief Justice to only Kissi Agyebeng, I had submitted a petition to the President dated 30 April 2024 for the impeachment of the Special Prosecutor which was later to be termed flimsy by Joy FM’s chief executioner, Sampson Lardy Anyenini, for the OSP, and nonsensical by Kweku Baako, the mentor of Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the law partner of Kissi Agyebeng, at Cromwell Gray LLP. Joy FM arrayed lawyers and other professionals to pontificate on the procedure, time limits, the credibility for success of the petition, and advocating that the petition did not meet the threshold of a prima facie case. 

The discussions on Joy FM and later on, other coopted media houses centred around Section 15 (2), (3) and (4) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) even though some strayed to Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution. They highlighted two requirements under Section 15 of Act 959: “…..The President shall within seven days refer the petition to the Chief Justice who shall, within thirty days, determine whether there is a prima facie case” and: “Where the Chief Justice determines that there is a prima facie case, the Chief Justice shall within fourteen days set up a Committee consisting of …..”

According to the Joy FM’s supposedly leaked document, the President referred the petition to the Chief Justice on 6 May 2024, almost ten (10) clear days before she wrote to Kissi Agyebeng on 16 May 2024, and she must have read the petition to have formed a fair opinion before then. The mandatory within thirty days for the Chief Justice to determine whether there was a prima facie case by my calculations expired on 6 June 2024. The fourteen days within which she was to set up a committee should she determine a prima facie case expired before today, 20 June 2024. 

Joy FM is not telling the public whether a prima facie case was determined within the thirty days or not, and whether a committee has been set up within fourteen days thereafter or not. Meanwhile in accordance with the Supreme Court decision in Dery v Tiger Eye PI and 2 Others, Writ No. J1/29/2015, given on 4 February 2016 (unreported) in which Kissi Agyebeng was the leading lawyer for Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Tiger Eye PI, a determination that there is no prima facie case terminates the impeachment proceedings began by the petition to the President. A determination that there is a prima facie case means the subject of the petition cannot even resign from his office during the setting up of the committee and the completion of the committee’s work by the submission of  its recommendations to the President. 

It  follows from the foregoing that the Chief Justice has an obligation to refer her determination whether there was a prima facie case to the President immediately as there shall be no need to set up any committee. Whosoever the petitioner is has a right to be informed soonest that no prima facie case has been made by the petition and he has the right thereafter, according to the reasoning in the Dery case to make the content of the petition known to the public to judge for themselves the determination of no prima facie case by the Chief Justice. The  timeous forwarding of the determination to the President enables the petitioner to avoid the experience and suspicion one encounters under Section 23 (1) of the Right to Information Act, 2019, (Act 989) where some public institutions shamelessly backdate letters containing similar decisions long after failing to comply with the limitations of time mandated by the said sub-section (1) of Section 23 of the Act. 

Kweku Azar was led by the eerie silence from the lead scoop leaker, Joy FM, to post on his Facebook wall that: “CJ has 30 days from May 6th, 2024 to determine prima facie case for SP removal. Do the maths. Da Yie!” The silence on the follow-up to Joy FM’s supposedly leaked report on the petition has led to allegations of meetings at the weekend beginning on Saturday, 15 June 2024 of a group of supporting political, media, and other public officeholder elites after a Board meeting of the OSP on Tuesday, 11 June 2024 to interfere with the process of the alleged petition which is not healthy for the Ghanaian system of justice. 

Joy FM should have known the injustice involved in leading my trial in the court of public opinion without the ability to ensure that the public is adequately informed of the actualization of the procedure and timelines it had inculcated into the public mind against me without any authentication of my signature to any published petition. The 1992 Constitution gives every citizen of Ghana the right to be tried in accordance with the due process of law, and not a trial in the court of public opinion. Dery v Tiger Eye PI interpreting the 1992 Constitution is an authority and guide to this principle of law. 

The 1992 Constitution must not only be defended but must be obeyed by all citizens of Ghana. All patriotic citizens and the media which also has guaranteed rights under Chapter Twelve thereof is no exception. Ghana must always come first before any parochial self-interest of any group of entrepreneurs pretending to be fighting corruption. 

Martin A. B. K. Amidu

20 June 2024     

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