Amidu Threatens to Resign Over Double Salary Ministers
Ghana’s Special Persecutor, Martin Amidu, has said he would lack the courage and clean conscience to continue his new job if any person that is found culpable in investigations into allegations of double salary paid to some appointees of the former government is not duly prosecuted and made to face the full rigors of the law.
“…Then let’s forget about the Special Persecutor’s job! Why should the Special Prosecutor be prosecuting the ordinary Ghanaian and then the ‘honourables’ should be involved in this thing and then be talking to the President to wash it off? Then we have no need sitting here. I won’t even have the conscience to continue. Would I have the conscience to continue if the CID is stopped from going on with the investigations or if they find something prosecutable but they are told not to persecute because Members of Parliament are involved? That is not fair”, Mr. Amidu told Citi FM’s Umaru Sanda on Thursday.
Mr. Amidu was emphatic that if investigations prove that the said government appointees indeed received double salary and did not notify the appropriate authorities for the extra monies to be returned to the State, their conduct would amount to a clear “abuse of office for personal gain” and they should not be left off the hook.
He explained: “There is no excuse. The ordinary man going to jail is a human being and a Ghanaian. You are just fleecing the country and that is an offense of abuse of office for private gain. If that matter was to have come to me, that is what I would have looked at.
“What is worrying for me is the knowledge that some are even talking to the President to compromise so that crime would be over looked because they are Members of Parliament. When there was this allegation that Anas had taken video of Parliamentarians’ corruption and refused to show it, there was hullabaloo everywhere. Now behind the scene, as Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu has said, some people are talking to the President to compromise this thing.
“I am saying that it is not fair, if what I am reading is true that people are trying to get to the President to wash it up like Mahama washed up the one that Anas had discovered. If the ordinary Ghanaian who are struggling to feed their children and wives are going to jail for petty offenses, please, corruption is sapping the energy of this country. We are milking it. And when you abuse your office like you took a salary from parliament and you take another one from government knowing very well you are not entitled, you are abusing your office for private gain”
Mr. Amidu said he was once upon a time paid double salary while he was serving in government but he immediately asked his bankers to return the excess money because he was not entitled to it and he is of the firm opinion that is what the accused former government officials should have done.
“As an honourable Minister of Member of Parliament, you must lead this country by making sure any money you see in your account which you are not entitled to, you notify the government. Like the Majority Leader said, when he was given a cheque and he thought it was wrong, he took it, made a photocopy and returned it. Money was ever paid into my account from the Account General. When my bank notified me, I told them to return it. Because that is not what me and the Attorney General agreed.
“This is what they should have done. You do not keep the money for six months, for one year, two years, three years, you have left office one and half years and you have not made any effort to return it then when the CIDs begin to investigate, know you are rationalizing it and yet when the ordinary man takes plantain, one bunch, he goes in for 15 years. So, what is the politician trying to tell this country?”, the Special Prosecutor noted.
By: Halifax Ansah-Addo