I’ll resign if I’m sidelined — Deputy Special Prosecutor nominee

BY: Edmund Smith-Asante

Even before receiving the nod for the position of Deputy Special Prosecutor, the President’s nominee for the position, Mrs Cynthia Jane Naa-Koshie Lamptey, has served notice that she will not hesitate to resign if she is sidelined by her boss.

Mrs Lamptey, who appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, was answering a question posed by the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Hohoe, Dr Bernice Adiku Heloo, on what she would do if she found herself relegated to the background.

The nominee approached the question in the same way she had responded to all questions from members of the committee and said: “Should I face something of that sort, I’ll resign because I was not employed for cosmetic purposes and I’ll not be a puppet there.”

It appeared she had taken the advice offered by the Chairman of the committee, Mr Joe Osei-Owusu, to be brief in her responses in order not to lengthen her vetting, as she answered most of the questions with short, crisp answers that sometimes made the members who posed the questions ask: “Is that all?”

That, coupled with the fact that there were no controversial issues to be answered, made the entire process last only two hours 25 minutes, a far cry from the over seven-hour vetting of Mr Martin Amidu on February 13, this year.

Another resignation

Mrs Lamptey, who is currently the Deputy Registrar-General at the Registrar-General’s Department, answered a question posed by the NDC MP for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on the provision in Section 16.6 of the act that established the Office of the Special Prosecutor (Act 959) which states that the Deputy Special Prosecutor shall not hold any other office.

She set the room agog with laughter when she answered that in all her working life she had worked as a civil servant and held no private business, stating: “If I am approved, I will resign from that position. Until I am approved, I won’t resign.”

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Work with Amidu

Earlier, the nominee, who was called to the Bar in 1988, had been asked on many occasions by members of the committee how she planned to work with Mr Amidu if she was confirmed for the position.

Taking the nominee through Section 17 of the act, which speaks to the functions of the Deputy Special Prosecutor, Mr Ablakwa asked how she would relate with Mr Amidu if she was given the nod.

Responding, she said she already knew the Special Prosecutor, as she had worked with him when he was the Deputy Attorney-General and later the Attorney-General, adding: “Mr Amidu is a workaholic and so if he gives you work, you must do it.”

She also said someone who worked with Mr Amidu needed to get a grip on things in order to fit in when he was absent.

Peaceful co-existence

In an answer to a question by the NPP MP for Cape Coast North, Mrs Barbara Ayisi Asher, on how she intended to ensure peaceful co-existence and cooperation with her boss, the nominee responded: “I have known Mr Amidu and I have studied his temperament and so I can work with him.”

On how she planned to offer support to the office, Mrs Lamptey said she would bring on board her 29-year experience in prosecuting criminal offences and would offer guidance to investigators of the office, so that investigations would be carried out speedily.

To a query from the Ranking Member of the committee, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, (NDC Tamale South) on how she planned to work with Mr Amidu, she said: “Right from the word go, I will work with the Special Prosecutor, so that when he is not there, I will step into his shoes.”

She also indicated that “Legal Mutual Assistance will be used to go after funds from corruption that has crossed the country’s borders”.