Investigation journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has described former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Martin Amidu as an attention seeker trying to deviate him (Anas) from pursuing his anti-corruption crusade.
He has also sent a word of caution to the anti-corruption crusader not to be misguided in his attempt to stand up against corruption since it would eventually destroy the reputation he has built for himself.
In a strong-worded statement released on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Anas denied the claims by Mr Amidu that government had commissioned Tiger Eye PI to uncover corruption within the judiciary.
He also set the records straight that his company, Tiger Eye PI was duly registered as a Limited liability company at the Registrar General’s Department, adding that, the only crime he and his team had committed was omitting the suffix “Limited” in their communications.
In his statement, Anas described Mr Amidu as a symbol of the anti-corruption fight but cautioned him to be meticulous since the road he was treading on was likely to tint his image.
He wrote, “Mr. Amidu, you have been a symbol of the anti-corruption fight. The light of your candle has probably blazed and radiated our path. Kindly rest assured that our work does not seek, in any way, to dim or diminish your glow and radiance. We recommend to you the deeply reflective eternal words of the American clergyman, James Keller that “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” We add our own words that the brightness of your candle is not in any way reduced when another lighted candle is brought into the room. You have done a great job. History will be kind do you. Don’t pick a fight in an empty room. Don’t allow an ill-advised, unfortunate, unnecessary and regrettable hubris to destroy it.”
Below is the full statement by Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Let the records show that Mr. Amidu made the following direct accusations against us:
(i) That our “undercover investigation that led to the judicial corruption exposé was commissioned by the Government of Ghana,”
(ii) That have we engaged in selective reporting of edited findings on the judicial corruption exposé, and
(iii) That we have conducted and suppressed investigations into other arms of government.
When we denied these and challenged Mr. Amidu to prove them, based on the age-old adage that “he who alleges must prove,” he threatened and swore to provide the evidence. Let the records also show that he has not been able to do so. He shifts the goal-posts and now what we have seen and are compelled to deal with, are a confused, rambling and incoherent mish-mash of anecdotes, poorly spun yarns, untruths, half-truths, and white lies. That is pretty sad. We can take each of his alleged evidence apart, and tear it into shreds. But for the sake of his own reputation (which we really and greatly value), we will be restrained in addressing just a few of them.
First, Mr. Amidu, the government has NOT granted us whistleblower status. It has no such power. It a status granted to us as of right by law, the Whistleblower Act, 2006 (Act 720). All what the Attorney-General has done, and rightfully in our view, is to confirm to us that in her opinion, we are entitled to that status on account of the work that we have done and the disclosures that we have made. Anyone who doubts or challenges our emphatic position on this is entitled to seek redress in court; and we fairly confident that any such legal action will be an exercise in futility.
Second, what evidence does Mr. Amidu supply to his unfortunate “commissioning” allegation after he beat his chest and claimed that on the alleged basis of his previous positions in government, “I know what I am talking about”? Mr. Amidu is unable to produce any report or memo or refer to any discussion that came to his attention in the course of his work relating to the alleged “commissioning.” His weak defence is to refer to a statement we have made that we were at some point, conducting an investigation at the request of the late President Mills. That, unfortunately for Mr. Amidu, was a reference to our “SOUL TAKERS” investigation report on the DVLA. Mr. Amidu, we have confirmed the fact that we have, in times past, collaborated with government agencies. When we have done so, we have been blunt about it. If we had collaborated with the government on this investigation, we would have said so. And we believe that the government itself would have been very happy to claim ownership of our work and its product. Simply, we did not, and Mr. Amidu has been unable to provide any evidence in support of his claims.
Third, Mr. Amidu claims to have discovered evidence that we are a “dummy and fraudulent” company, based on search results he has obtained from the Companies Registry, which show a company called Tiger Eye PI Limited. His unfortunate conclusion from this routine search, which anyone can conduct with the Companies Registry, is that we are fraudulent because we have on occasion omitted the suffix “Limited” from our name in some of our communications.
Mr. Amidu is right in one, and only one, respect: a company limited by shares, such as we are, is required to state its name with the suffix “Limited” or “Ltd.” Section 15 of the Companies Act is taught to every student of Company Law in this country. Let us compound it. Under section 121 of the same Act, the name of the company, including the suffix “Limited” or “Ltd.” must be painted or affixed, in letters that are easily legible, in a conspicuous position on the outside of every office or place in which the business of the company is carried on. That full name must also be mentioned (at the risk of penalties for neglect to the company and the directors) in legible characters in all business letters, notices, official publications, bills of exchange, promissory notes, cheques, etc.
Mr. Amidu, if we are guilty of anything, it is that we have sometimes neglected to add that suffix to our name. In Mr. Amidu’s mind, that makes us a “dummy and fraudulent” company. We sincerely invite Mr. Amidu to go through the streets of Accra and take pictures of all the limited liability companies (banks, etc.), which do not have the suffix “Limited” or “Ltd.” attached to their names on their buildings, and call all of them “dummy and fraudulent” organisations. We trust that we will be in very auspicious “dummy and fraudulent” company. However, we assure Mr. Amidu and any others who might be thinking like him, that we operate under the relevant incorporation, registration and licensing under Ghana law.
Further, we do not even need to be an incorporated body to expose the acts of judicial corruption that are captured in our video recordings and submitted to the authorities for investigation. Mr. Amidu either does not know or has conveniently forgotten that under our laws, any “person” is entitled to blow the whistle on crime and wrongdoing. He also does not know or has conveniently forgotten that under sections 41 and 46 of the Interpretation Act, 2009 (Act 792), words in any enactment importing “persons” include “unincorporated bodies of persons.” Thus even if we were, for a moment, to accept Mr. Amidu’s assumption that we are not duly incorporated, that would have nothing to do with the results of our investigations and the petition that we have submitted to the President and the Chief Justice.
Fourth, Mr. Amidu, you seek to denigrate our work, but then turn around to praise the Chief Justice for the steps she has taken based on and as a result of our work. Only you can understand how that contradiction, inconsistency and incongruity are able to sit and rest easy in our mind. We, for our part, are completely focused on appearing and testifying before the various committees set up to investigate the judicial corruption that we have exposed, just as you did by going to court. We will not be deviated from our course by your attention-seeking side-tracking.
In conclusion, Mr. Amidu, you have been a symbol of the anti-corruption fight. The light of your candle has probably blazed and radiated our path. Kindly rest, assured that our work does not seek, in any way, to dim or diminish your glow and radiance. We recommend to you the deeply reflective eternal words of the American clergyman, James Keller that “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” We add our own words, that the brightness of your candle is not in any way reduced when another lighted candle is brought into the room. You have done a great job. History will be kind do you. Don’t pick a fight in an empty room. Don’t allow an ill-advised, unfortunate, unnecessary and regrettable hubris to destroy it.