Friday, 23 February 2018
Ayine challenges Amidu’s appointment at Supreme Court

Ayine challenges Amidu’s appointment at Supreme Court

A former deputy Attorney-General, Dr Dominic Ayine has filed a suit at the Supreme Court to challenge the nomination of Martin Amidu for the position of Special Prosecutor.

In the lawsuit, dated February 12, 2018, Dr Ayine, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East, contends that Mr Amidu, being 66 years of age, is too old to hold public office, under which the Special Prosecutor’s Office falls.
He is seeking a declaration that “by a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1) (d), 199(1), 199(4), and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retirement age of all holders of public office created pursuant to Article (1) (d) is sixty years, anyhow not beyond (65).”
He argued in his writ that “any other interpretation would result in an unlawful amendment of Article 199 of the Constitution by legislation.”
Using the same sections of the constitution, he held that “no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1) (d).”
He is thus seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court that Mr Amidu “is not qualified or eligible to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor under Section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor At, 2018 (Act 959).”
This action comes barely a day to the vetting of Mr Amidu by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
If Parliament is served, there will automatically be an injunction on the vetting process pending the determination of case.
Article 199 - Retiring age and pension
Article 199 (1) states that, “A public officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty years”.
However, clause four states that “notwithstanding clause (1) of this article, a public officer who has retired from the public service after attaining the age of sixty years may, where the exigencies of the service require, be engaged for a limited period of not more than two years at a time but not exceeding five years in all and upon such other terms and conditions as the appointing authority shall determine."
The Special Prosecutor shall hold office on the same terms and conditions of service as a justice of the Court of Appeal (retirement age of 70 years) except that the tenure of office shall be a non-renewable tenure of seven years.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, has stated that the age of former Attorney-General Martin Amidu cannot disqualify him from becoming the Special Prosecutor.
But Mr Osei Owusu, who is also the chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, in an interview with Starr News, stated that Mr Amidu has been appointed for a specific contract and age does not matter in that regard.
“This one is a specific contract and you are recruited for a specific term and it doesn’t matter your age. The President knew and considered his age…of course nobody can tell where sickness or death will come from…but so long as he has strength and the proper state of mind, he has the seven years to serve.”
Muntaka Mubarak said unless the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, directs the committee to stay the exercise, the public hearing scheduled for today will come on as planned.
“So far as we are concerned, the vetting is coming on,” the member of Parliament’s Appointments Committee said.

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