Mrs Jane Cynthia Naa Torshie Lamptey, has been asked to act as Special Prosecutor until a substantive one is appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo following the resignation of Mr Martin Amidu from the post.
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Ms Lamptey is a lawyer of over 30 years standing at the Ghana Bar and former acting Director of Public Prosecutions.
Commenting on her new assignment, Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Dr Steve Manteaw said “Mad. Cynthia Lamptey, Acting SP I salute you. It’s a difficult task, we know, but we trust you to fulfil our aspirations.”
Her former boss, Mr Amidu resigned on Monday, November 16, citing a number of reasons for his resignation.
Mr Amidu resigned because because he does not feel that President Nana Akufo-Addo has done enough to safeguard the independence of his office.
He said: “The events of 12/11/20 removed the only protection I had from the threats & plans directed at me for undertaking the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption assessment report & dictates that I resign as the Special Prosecutor immediately”.
In a letter addressed to Nana Akufo-Addo, Mr Amidu charged the president to find a suitable replacement for him.
“The one condition upon which I accepted to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor when you invited me to your Office on 10th January 2018 was your firm promise to me that you will respect and ensure same by your Government for my independence and freedom of action as the Special Prosecutor,” he stated.
Mr Amidu was nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as Special Prosecutor on January 11, 2018, and was subsequently approved by Parliament.
President Akufo-Addo at the swearing-in of Martin Amidu stated that “We expect the Special Prosecutor to discharge his duties vigorously with courage, without fear or favour, ill will or malice in accordance with the Rule of Law.”
His appointment was greeted with a lot of excitement because of his overt abhorrence for corruption.
It was expected that his strict and firm personality was exactly what the country needed to fight alleged corrupt practices and abuse of office.
But almost three years into the job, Amidu has come under intense pressure in what many believe has been an underwhelming performance.
Amidu has always maintained that he has not lost his penchant to go after corrupt officials, but persons in high places were frustrating his work.
In 2018, he complained about how some critical ministries and agencies had refused to produce public records on demand to aid the office in critical investigations regarding issues of corruption in the Akufo-Addo government.
He made the revelation at the National Audit Forum organised by the Ghana Audit Service. Martin Amidu added that his office was ‘under-resourced’ contributing to its inability to work effectively.
“You ask for information you can’t get it; you ask for docket; the docket cannot be produced. You ask a minister for a record; the record cannot be produced. How do you fight corruption when those appointed by the president who has a vision are not coordinating with the office of the special prosecutor to achieve his mandate? That is the challenge we have to face.”