I read a news story on myjoyonline.com on 15 December 2022 in which it was reported that: “Exclusive documents available to Joy News indicate that the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng and his staff are yet to receive their salaries, 16 months after assuming office.”
According to the said documents, only the Deputy Special Prosecutor has been paid; leaving other staff of the office agitated. The documents further disclosed that the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu is owed salary arrears.
My name has been mentioned in respect of the supposed salary arrears. I accordingly invoke my right to a rejoinder under Article 162(6) of the Constitution.
I agreed to the request by the President to be the Special Prosecutor (SP) not for the purpose of the salary and/or benefits attached to the Office but for the patriotic duty of fighting corruption which I had been undertaking at personal expense before my appointment.
Consequently, I wish to state that I know how to fight my own cause and I do not need anybody to do so on my behalf.
The Special Prosecutor holds a warrant of appointment from the President and is at liberty to pick up whatever method and fights he wishes with his appointing authority for himself and on behalf of his friends and cronies who do not hold any warrant of appointment under Section 21 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) and Article 195(1) of the 1992 Constitution.
My information is that the SP has not been paid because he is asking for a higher personalised salary than that offered him.
I do not want to be part of the SP’s discourse on his salary and my relationship to any salaries when I served.
Whosoever provided documents to Joy News should have included my petition dated 31 August 2022 to the Chairman of the Public Services Commission on the unconstitutional appointment of permanent staff to the Office of the Special Prosecutor contrary to Section 21 of Act 959 and Article 195 of the 1992 Constitution.
The person who made the documents available to Joy News should also have made available to Joy News my letter dated 2nd September 2022 addressed to the Minister of Finance, the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General, and the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament referring to my petition and warning them of the danger of making unconstitutional disbursement from the public purse to unlawfully appointed staff of the OSP.
I copied each of my above letters to the Chairperson of the OSP, and the Special Prosecutor, amongst others.
Joy News should have asked for the appointment warrants or letters for the so-called staff of the OSP as part of the documents available to it and it would have found that no appointment has been made by the President to the OSP in accordance with the advice of the OSP Board and in consultation with the Public Services Commission.
All the unconstitutional appointments made by the OSP before the Board was appointed in June 2022 do not contain the salary levels of the appointees and do not state that they were appointed by the President under Section 21 of Act 959 and Article 195 of the 1992 Constitution.
Each of the letters begins as follows, with the square brackets showing a variation of type,” Offer of Appointment as ……We are pleased to offer you appointment…with effect from …2022 on the following terms and conditions: (i) to x [or] xi”. Please return the duplicate of this letter on or before …2022 duly signed and dated as acceptance of the offer of appointment and terms of appointment.
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“I extend a warm welcome to you and wish you all the best for a successful career. [I wish you all the best for a successful career.] Faithfully, (signed)….” Arbitrary and discriminatory ranks were assigned to seconded staff who were compelled to resign or retire from the Public Service, and cronies and friends were given enhanced ranks and positions in the OSP at massive cost to the public purse.
There is no official reference number to each letter and no other person is copied to be informed about the appointment, such as the Chairman Public Services Commission, the Minister of Finance, the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General, the Chairperson of the Board, and the Presidency as is usual when persons are appointed by warrant under the authority of the President.
Not even the Chief Accountant of the OSP is copied. The Special Prosecutor signed the supposed letters of appointment, without any authority whatsoever.
How does the Government pay such workers who do not hold valid warrants of appointment? The Minister of Finance and the Accountant-General cannot authorise the payment of salaries for newly appointed staff without verifying that the persons have been properly appointed in accordance with the 1992 Constitution.
Parliament cannot support such unconstitutionality and it is for this reason that I addressed my letter to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament who happens to be the Deputy Minority Leader of Parliament.
He was under a duty to inform the Minority Leader which he failed to do for his own reasons. This, understandably, misled the Minority Leader into making the comments he made to Joy News on this matter.
The OSP was established to ensure that it demonstrates integrity in the recruitment of permanent staff transparently and accountably in accordance with the provisions of Article 195 and Section 21 of Act 959.
The OSP cannot in the name of fighting corruption, corruptly and unconstitutionally recruit cronies and friends from Cromwell Gray LLP and others associates without the involvement of the Board and the Public Services Commission.
An OSP that intends to rape the public purse massively for cronies and friends in contravention of the 1992 Constitution has gone rogue and has become itself a corrupt institution that cannot fulfil any objects and functions under Act 959.
Joy News may wish to invite the Chairperson of the OSP to contradict me on the unlawful and unconstitutional appointments made by the Special Prosecutor for which blame is deliberately and maliciously being passed on to the Government.
I reproduce hereunder the content of my letter dated 2nd September 2022 addressed to the Minister of Finance, the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General and the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament which was copied to the Special Prosecutor and the Chairperson of the Board of the OSP.
“2nd September 2022
RE: THE PETITION OF MARTIN ALAMISI BURNS KAISER AMIDU (MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU) ON THE APPOINTMENT OF PERMANENT STAFF INTO THE OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR (OSP) WITHOUT THE INVOLVEMENT AND APPROVAL OF THE GOVERNING BOARD AND THE PUBLIC SERVICES COMMISSION – ARTICLE 195 AND SECTION 21 OF ACT 959
I write this letter to each of you as a sequel to my petition to the Chairman of the Public Services Commission on the above subject matter dated 31st August 2022 and delivered to his office the same day (I attach herewith a photocopy of the said petition for your ease of reference.)
My petition to the Chairman of the Public Services Commission necessitates this letter to you as keepers of the public purse/and or overseers of the expenditure charged on the public purse to ensure that you are well informed of the content of my petition. A constitutional and statutory duty is imposed on you to ensure that no expenditure is approved and charged upon the consolidated fund (the public purse) which is unlawful and violates Article 195 of the 1992 Constitution, the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Act, 2017, and pursuant regulations.
Recruitments and appointments of staff made not “….acting in accordance with the advice of the governing council of the OSP and in consultation with the Public Services Commission” will be inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 195 of the Constitution and accordingly void (Emphasis supplied). The case of Ghana Bar Association & Others v Attorney-General & Others (Consolidated Writs), Supreme Court, 20th July 2016, is binding authority on this matter. The governing council cannot ratify such unconstitutional and unlawful recruitments and appointments, neither can the Public Services Commission do so. The purported appointment letters and subsequent warrants of appointments (if any) would be standing on nothing and equally void.
It is, therefore, because of your respective gatekeeping functions of protecting the public purse that I found it expedient to write to you (for the avoidance of any doubt) to become aware of the issues raised in my petition to the Public Services Commission should you come to approve or authorise the disbursement of expenditure arising from the compensation budget of the OSP in the matters I have petitioned against to the Commission.
Kindly accept my compliments of the highest consideration.”
I am attaching a PDF copy of my petition dated 31 August 2022 to the Chairman of the Public Services Commission, and a PDF copy of my letter to the Minister of Finance, the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General, and the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament reproduced above as part of this rejoinder to demonstrate that the Government could not and cannot in the name of fighting corruption have paid any salary to any of the cronies and friends corruptly and unlawfully recruited and promoted by the OSP contrary to the 1992 Constitution.
The reason the OSP relied on seconded staff under my tenure is fully explained in my petition to the Chairman of the Public Services Commission.
We do the public a great disservice when we accuse or indict the Government for not facilitating the fight against corruption when the fault lies squarely with an Office which has gone rogue under a Special Prosecutor who acts corruptly in violation of Article 195 the 1992 Constitution and Section 21 of Act 959.
It is only a corrupt OSP that will encourage the media to call the Government a bad name just to hang it when the culprit is the OSP itself. Where is integrity in the fight against corruption? Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.