Akufo-Addo names Jane Cynthia Lamptey as Deputy Special Prosecutor

BY: Musah Yahya Jafaru
Madam Cynthia Lamptey of the Attorney General's Office
Madam Cynthia Lamptey of the Attorney General's Office

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has nominated Ms Jane Cynthia Naa Torshie Lamptey for the position of Deputy Special Prosecutor.

Ms Lamptey is a lawyer of 30 years’ standing at the Ghana Bar and former acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

In an official communication from the Presidency to Parliament which was read by the Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, at an emergency sitting of Parliament yesterday, the President said he was seeking the House to approve Ms Lamptey’s nomination.

"It is my respectful hope and expectation that due dispatch will be granted for the nomination," the letter read.

After he had communicated the intention and wishes of the President to the House, Prof. Oquaye then referred Ms Lamptey's nomination to the Appointments Committee of Parliament (ACP) for consideration and report.

With the Speaker having referred the letter to the ACP, the committee’s next move is to ask the public to submit memoranda on Ms Lamptey’s conduct for consideration.

Thereafter, it will fix a date for the vetting of the Deputy Special Prosecutor nominee.

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 The vetting will involve the committee posing questions about her educational and professional background, attitude to work and public comments she might have made in the course of her work.

One high-profile case which Ms Lamptey joined other colleagues to handle was the criminal prosecution of Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome in the GH¢51 million judgement debt saga.

Special Prosecutor’s Office

If approved, Ms Lamptey will be the deputy to the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, who was nominated by the President and subsequently approved by the ACP after a grueling vetting process. He was sworn in by the President in February 2018.

Mr Amidu is known as the ‘citizen vigilante’ for his anti-corruption crusade.

His appointment came as a shock to many, as he is a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), although he had been critical of his party in government.

Office of the Special Prosecutor

The Office of the Special Prosecutor is a specialised agency to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector involved in the commission of corruption and to prosecute the offences on the authority of the Attorney-General.

The establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor was one of the key campaign promises of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Legal challenge

Meanwhile, a former Deputy Attorney-General, Dr Dominic Ayine, is challenging Mr Amidu’s appointment as Special Prosecutor on the grounds that he is 66, which is beyond the statutory age of employment into the public service. He is, therefore, seeking an order from the Supreme Court to have Mr Amidu’s appointment annulled.

In a statement of case, Ayine is praying the court to declare that "by true and proper interpretation of articles 190 (1) (d) and 199 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1) (d)".