Ayine's new application against Amidu's appointment dismissed

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

 

A former Deputy Attorney-General (A-G), Dr Dominic Ayine, who is challenging the nomination of Mr Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, has failed in his attempt to file further arguments to support his case at the Supreme Court.

The apex court on Thursday dismissed the former Deputy A-G’s application praying the court to allow him to file a supplementary statement of case.

According to Mr Justice Gabriel Pwamang, the sole judge who sat on the case, Dr Ayine’s new application was unmeritorious because it breached the rules of the court.

“The application is unknown to the rules of the court. It, therefore, has no merit and is, accordingly, dismissed,’’ he said.


 

Ayine’s application

In February 2018, Dr Ayine filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking to nullify Mr Amidu’s nomination by reason of his (Amidu’s) age.

The suit was filed with Mr Amidu and the A-G as the defendants.

In his statement of case, Dr Ayine argued that, per Section 13 (3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959), Mr Amidu, who is 66 years, was not eligible to be the Special Prosecutor.

He further contended that the Office of the Special Prosecutor was a public office and by virtue of articles 190 (1) (d), 199 (1), 199 (4) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retiring age for public officers was 60, and by any extension 65.

On March 23, 2018, the former Deputy A-G and current Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East filed a fresh application, seeking permission from the court to allow him to file a supplementary statement of case.

He wanted to be given the opportunity to add certain parliamentary debates that preceded the passing of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act to his statement of case.

 

Wrong procedure

At the hearing of the application yesterday, Dr Ayine was represented by Mr Tony Lithur, counsel for former President John Dramani Mahama in the 2012 election petition, and a former A-G, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong.

Mr Lithur argued that there was no procedure for the filing of a supplementary statement of case and, therefore, per the Supreme Court Procedure Rule (C.I 16), the court had the discretion to grant his client’s application.

But even before counsel made his argument, a Deputy A-G, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, had raised an objection and argued that the application was against the rules of the court.

He submitted that Dr Ayine should have amended his statement of case to inculcate his new arguments, instead of filing an application for a supplementary statement of case.

The rules of the court, he argued, made room for an amendment, but did not allow an application for a supplementary statement of case.

Mr Amidu, who was also in court and represented himself, argued that the application was in bad faith.

According to him, if, indeed, there was no procedure, Dr Ayine should have come to the court to ask for a procedure before filing his application.

“You don’t put the cart before the horse,’’ he stated.

In his response, Mr Justice Pwamang agreed with Mr Dame and Mr Amidu that Dr Ayine adopted the wrong procedure and, subsequently, dismissed the application.

“The court shall not allow its own rules to be tossed,’’ he said.