Double salary MPs must not go scot free - Martin Amidu

Double salary MPs must not go scot free - Martin Amidu

- Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu is worried by attempts to get MPs who allegedly took double salary as ministers in the John Mahama government off the hook

- According to him, any move to stop the prosecution of the offending MPs will not be fair to the ordinary citizens and he will not have the moral right to prosecute other for their crimes

- Mr Amidu also pointed out that as leading members of society, the MPs ought to have returned the money just like he did when he was given a double salary while a Deputy Attorney General

- The Special Prosecutor further pointed out that the MPs must be treated just like any ordinary Ghanaian who has committed a crime

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has expressed worry at reported attempts to stop the prosecution of some Members of Parliament (MPs) who allegedly took double salary while serving as Ministers in the Mahama administration.

According to Mr Amidu, it was a worrying development that "some people are even talking to the president to compromise so that crime will be overlooked because they are Members of Parliament.”

Double salary MPs must not go scot free - Martin Amidu

Mr Martin Amidu

“… Why should a Special Prosecutor be prosecuting ordinary Ghanaians and your honourables will be involved in these things; then they will be talking to the president to wash it up? Then I have no need sitting here. I won’t even have the conscience to continue.

“Will I have the conscience to prosecute any other body for corruption [if] the CID finds something prosecutable and are not allowed to prosecute because Members of Parliament are involved? That is not fair,” he stated in an interview on Citi FM on Thursday.

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Seven MPs have been interrogated by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and cautioned for stealing over the issue of double salary so far.

The MPs Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Second Deputy Speaker Alban Bagbin, as well as Wa Central MP and ex-minister of Public-Private Partnerships, Dr Rashid Pelpuo; Inusah Fuseini, former Lands and Natural Resources Minister; Comfort Doyoe Ghansah, former Minister of State in charge of Social and Allied Institutions; Mr Eric Opoku, former Brong Ahafo Regional Minister and Fifi Kwetey, former Deputy Minister of Finance.

The Minority has denied any wrongdoing from its MPs and have labelled the investigations as an attempt by government to use the CID to hound and intimidate them.

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But Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is on record to have disclosed that Haruna Iddrisu had met President Nana Akufo-Addo to plead for mercy, a claim Iddrisu has denied though he admitted meeting the President

Against his backgroun, the former Attorney General stated that it would be unfair to the ordinary Ghanaian if the MPs are left off the hook because they [Ghanaians] are human beings too and as honourables, they ought to know better.

"I don’t like this whole idea about political elite. Honourables you are supposed to be, and then you are just fleecing the country. Indeed, that is an offence of abuse of office for private gain.”

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Using himself as an example, Special Prosecutor Amidu stated that he was once overpaid as a Deputy Minister but he returned the extra money and, thus, expected same from the MPs concerned.

Money was ever paid into my account… When my bank notified me I told them to return it because that is not what me and the Attorney General agreed. I could have kept it. This is what they should have done. You don’t keep the money for six months, one year, two years or three years, you’ve left office, one-and- half years, you’ve not made any efforts to return it. Then when the CID begins seeing it now you are rationalising it and yet when the ordinary man takes plantain one bunch, he goes to jail for 15 years. So, what is the political elite telling us?

If it’s been happening since 1992 and no one has seen it, now it has been seen, those responsible should bear the consequence,” he added.

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