Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in Parliament, Inusah Fuseini has clarified a statement attributed to him over the emoluments of the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu.
Inusah Fuseini is said to have claimed the Special Prosecutor was paid all salaries due him since the appointment contrary to Mr. Amidu’s revelations that he together with his deputy were unpaid for the two years in office.
However speaking on Eyewitness News, the Tamale Central Member of Parliament (MP) maintained that he only sought to explain that because the Special Prosecutor was unable to access his budgetary allocation due to administrative bottlenecks, he was only relying on financial support from the Jubilee House as an independent and separate allocation.
“I have no capacity to say that the Special Prosecutor has been paid or not and I could not have said that since I was not the one responsible for the payment of his salaries. For the period that the Special Prosecutor was in office, I was neither working at the Presidency or his office. Even in 2019, when he was given US180 million, and he appeared before the Committee, he had not drawn 10 per cent of that money. So that money was not available to him. The problem is that the Special Prosecutor and his Deputy not being paid was a cause of alarm.”
He explained that even when the Special Prosecutor appeared before the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in 2018, Mr. Amidu disclosed that he was unable to withdraw from his budgetary allocation because he was not on the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform hence could not access the money directly from the platform as a result of the independence of his office.
“The Attorney General was unable to activate the GIFMIS platform for the benefit of the Special Prosecutor. So in 2018, monies that were paid to the Office of the Special Prosecutor came from the Presidency which is the government machinery and not the budgetary allocation of the Special Prosecution. This explanation is part of the difficulties the Special Prosecutor faced in office”, he added.
Dead fight against corruption
Meanwhile, Inusah Fusieni, has said Martin Amidu’s lamentations over unpaid emoluments and benefits is a demonstration of government’s lack of commitment to fighting corruption.
Already, President Akufo-Addo has directed that all outstanding payments be made to him.
The legislator, who was instrumental in putting together the law of the Office of Special Prosecutor, however, said the situation questions the President’s determination to winning the war against deep-rooted corruption in the country.
“Martin Amidu is entitled to salary arrears. If you set up an office of a Special Prosecutor, you don’t just set it up for fanciful and comical reasons. That is why I have said that this is a manifestation of the lack of commitment on the part of the President to fight corruption. He must resource the office so that the people in the office will not be tempted from persons they are investigating and have the need to carry out their need effectively and efficiently. So for the President to set up the Office for two years without paying the offices to perform the task which is an important fact to fighting corruption tells a lot about the President’s commitment to fighting corruption.”