The Supreme Court has in a majority 5-2 decision ruled that Martin Amidu is eligible to hold office as Special Prosecutor.
The decision read by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah said the retirement age for public officers as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution does not apply to the office of the Special Prosecutor.
Former Deputy Attorney General Dr Dominic Ayine who filed the case had made the case that a true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1)(d), 199(1), and 295 of the 1992 Constitution is that the retirement age of all holders of public offices created pursuant to Article 190 (1)(d) is sixty (60) years, and not beyond sixty-five (65) years.
Article 190(1) states: The Public Services of Ghana shall include (d) such other public services as Parliament may by law prescribe.
While article 199(1) states that a public officer shall, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, retire from the public service on attaining the age of sixty years.
Article 295 which deals with interpretations describes “public office” to include an office the emoluments attached to which are paid directly from the Consolidated Fund or directly out of moneys provided by Parliament and an office in a public corporation established entirely out of public funds or moneys provided by Parliament.
Dr. Ayine argued as part of his case that at the time President Akufo-Addo named Martin Amidu as SP, he was not qualified because he was at the age of 66, arguing further that the appointment contravenes section 13(3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959).
The Attorney General’s office which has been defending the Special Prosecutor since the court discharged him as a defendant had also argued that Dr Ayine’s reading of the law wasn’t accurate.
A Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, said the office was a specialised agency and couldn’t be treated like any other public offices.
The case was heard by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, Justices Baffoe Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe, Prof Ashie Kotei, Nene Amegatcher, Agnes Dodzie and Marful Sau.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah and Justices Baffoe Bonnie, Marful Sau Prof Ashie Kotei and Nene Amegatcher ruled in favour of the Attorney General, dismissing the case against Mr Amidu.
Justices Sule Gbadegbe and Agnes Dodzie dissented.
Justice Anin-Yeboah in announcing their verdict said the written judgements will be available for collection on May 14, 2020.