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Dominic Ayine v. Martin Amidu; The Law Against Propaganda

BY JAMAL KONNEH
Democracy is very interesting, it’s a double-edged sword and I used to tell my students any time I was to teach this subject during my days as a government teacher. 

Where you have the right to move freely as enshrined in the constitution, the same constitution empowers a superior body or

persons to restrict your movement.

As someone is democratically trying hard to test the law, the other party’s strategy is to throw propaganda to survive in the name of freedom of speech.

Dr. Dominic Ayine has filed a case at the Supreme court seeking a declaration that by reason of Martin Amidu’s age (66 years), he, Martin Amidu is not qualified or eligible to be nominated, approved by parliament and be appointed by the president as the Special Prosecutor under section 13(3) of the office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959).

Sitting from afar, I see the case between the two great lawyers as an opportunity to test the law but the NPP will also grab the opportunity to play propaganda with the suit and they will do this propaganda with the support from a section of the media. Mind you the minority in parliament was part in the passage of the Special Prosecutor Bill into law.

But the majority of the headlines will be… “NDC runs away from Martin Amidu”…. ” Martin Amidu, the man NDC fears”……. Meanwhile, the NDC has not filed any case against Martin Amidu, it’s an individual who has the right to sue exercising his constitutional rights. But because of misinformation and propaganda, NDC will be dragged in.

In a landmark case such as this, the citizens need to be educated on the essence of the suit. But the NPP with the support of their media will report the news as if the plaintiff is running away from something.

We all know the office of the Special Prosecutor is a public office and public office is governed by law.

Article 199 of the 1992 constitution puts the retirement age and pension as follows;

(1)  A public officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty (60) years…

(4)  Notwithstanding clause (1) of this article, a public officer who has retired from the public service after attaining the age of sixty (60) 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.”……

However, by article 145, a judge of the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court retires at age 70. The office of the Special Prosecutor enjoys same terms and conditions with that of the judges of the court of Appeal.

In the wisdom of the plaintiff, Martin Amidu is appointed at age 66 to hold a Public Office and to enjoy terms and conditions of judges of Court of Appeal for seven years. Adding seven (7) years to the 66 years will be 73 years which is more than the 70 years retirement age. Hence his disqualification.

Well, the law they say lies in the bosom of the judges. Let’s stop the propaganda and the misinformation to encourage people to test the laws.

There is a precedent in this case that is  Appiah Ofori versus the Attorney General.

The last time I checked, the right of misinformation was not enshrined in our constitution. Let’s educate Ghanaians on the right things to help strengthen our democracy.

JAMAL KONNEH

Eastern Regional Communications Officer (NDC)

About Efo Korsi Senyo

Efo Korsi Senyo has over 4 years experience working as investigative journalist with Awake Africa. He is the Head of Awake Investigates. Connect with him via senyo@awakeafrica.com or WhatsApp: +233249155003

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