Commenting on the lawsuit, Mr. Adom Otchere remarked that “the courts, historically, will not rule to affect the higher expectations of society. Typically they may not do that.”
Dr. Ayine, in his lawsuit, argues that Mr. Amidu, aged 66 years, has exceeded the age for such public office holders, per Article 199 of the constitution. He is thus seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court that Mr. Amidu is not qualified or eligible to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor.
He said it would be unconstitutional for Parliament to approve the nominee.
This notwithstanding, the idea of a Special Prosecutor has gathered substantial momentum to possibly cushion it from this lawsuit, according to Mr. Adom Otchere.
“If you look at the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill and the political journey that it has traveled, you will find that at every stage of this journey, the Special Prosecutor Bill gets more endorsement from the Ghanaian people… the big masterstroke was the announcement of Martin Amidu to be the first occupier of that office. That was very popular,” he said.
Parliament’s Appointments Committee went ahead to vet Mr. Amidu on Tuesday despite the lawsuit, and Mr. Adom Otchere said the popularity of the Special Prosecutor Office was basically set in stone where “it has been completely accepted and the personality of Martin Amidu has been overwhelmingly endorsed not just by Parliament, but everyone who saw it on television.”
Speaking on the decision by Parliament to go ahead with the vetting, Adom Otchere expressed surprise that Dr. Ayine did not stop the committee from proceeding with the vetting, considering that there was precedent to that effect.
“There is precedent for that in the J.H. Mensah and the Attorney General; an old case at the Supreme Court where the Minority in Parliament wanted to prevent Mr. Kwame Peprah, then Finance Minister from reading the budget because they felt that he had not been properly approved by Parliament. Now they served the writ to the Speaker in the morning of the budget and the Speaker withheld the budget and so there is precedent for that.”
Paul Adom Otchere believes that the lawsuit will be good for posterity because the matter bordering the age of appointees who are not already public servants, had been a long-standing issue.
“It is a very important matter because that matter has never been really settled at the court level in terms of the people presidents appoint who are not ministers or deputy ministers, what kind of age are permissible and what kind of age is not permissible. So yes… I commend Ayine for attempting to regulate this issue once and for all,” he added.