Parliament put Supreme Court in a Fix on Amidu–Inusah Fuseini

The Supreme Court has been put in a fixed corner in determining the legal suit filed by Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolga East, Dr Dominic Ayine, challenging the legibility of Martin Amidu age to the position of the Special Prosecutor, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central has said.

According to him, parliament unanimous approval of the longest-serving Deputy Attorney-General as the Special Prosecutor tasked to fight corruption, despite a pending suit has put judges of the apex court in a more fixed position.

Martin Amidu on Tuesday February 20, got support from both sides of the House after an extreme tiring eight hours of vetting at the Appointments Committee of Parliament on February 13, 2018.

MPs from both sides of the House praised the one-time National Democratic Congress (NDC) Vice-Presidential candidate as a man of principles and integrity.

Earlier before parliament approval, Dominic Ayine drew the Speaker’s attention to a suit challenging the eligibility of Mr. Amidu for the position.

The former Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney General who filed the suit last week said the 66-year old nominee is not qualified for the post.

In his understanding of the law, Mr Amidu has grown past the statutory age limit of 66 for public service and drew parliament attention on Standing order 93(1).

Dr. Ayine invited the Speaker of Parliament to rule on whether the House’s intention to approve the nominee will not be wrong pending the Supreme Court case.

Dr Ayine further cited relevant authorities and requested that the Speaker rule on whether the House could debate an issue which is before a court of competent jurisdiction.
After fort and back argument over Dr Ayine’s point of Order by both the Majority and the Minority Leaders, the Speaker, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye in his ruling said “If a mere filing of a writ in any court should stop Parliament from doing its work then of course, Parliament is subjugated automatically to the court.”

He added that, “There must be mutual respect between all arms of government, stressing that, “there is nothing before me to persuade me that the matter allegedly before the court is such that Parliament cannot do its work.”

TheSpeaker backed the the Majority Leader’s explanation of the proper procedure and reiterated that a motion must be moved and seconded before an MP could raise an objection or refer to it.

However speaking to the THE REPUBLIC after the parliamentary approval, Hon Fuseini said, though parliament has not erred legally, he wished the vetting and the approval had waited for the determination on the matter at the Supreme Court.

He noted that, what parliament has done had undoubtedly put the apex court in a very fixed position as to whether to annul the approval or uphold it.

In his considered opinion, parliament ought to have waited because, Dr. Ayine’s suit at the Supreme Court is challenging the nomination of Martin Amidu for the position of Special Prosecutor due to his age.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor, he explained falls under the broad category of public officers who by the constitution must retire by age 60 with a possible extension to 65 years.

He pointed out that, it was for that reason that the Bolga East MP is seeking the SC declaration for a true and proper interpretation of Article 190(1)(d),199(1,)199(4) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution.

The constitution purged retirement age of all holders of public office created pursuant to Clause (1)(d) to sixty (60) years, anyhow not beyond 65.
This, Hon Fuseini said he personally has no doubt in the credibility and capacity of Martin Amidu as a Special Prosecutor, but wish parliament had exercise some restrain and put the approval on hold for the SC to determine the matter in the first place.
Again, the Tamale Central MP said Ayine was right in his attempt to arrest the approval motion, stating that, “it was the right way but unfortunately the Speaker did not allow it.”

He added that Dr Ayine like any other citizen has the civic responsibility to challenge the appointment of Amidu if he sees a breach, stressing that what Ayine did is to defend the provision of the constitution as a Ghanaian and not as a Member of Parliament.

Hon Fuseini also said what the former Deputy Attorney General sought to do was in consistent with the President’s view on protecting the constitution. Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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