Martin Amidu gives Ato Forson 7-day ultimatum to retract comments
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has given the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson a seven-day ultimatum to apologise and retract some comments he allegedly made in relation to a judgement debt payment.
Mr Amidu in a letter to Mr Forson dated August 1, 2019, demands an unqualified apology and retraction of the said comments which he described as defamatory.
According to Mr Amidu, he has never been paid any money by any Government in my official capacity or because of my position as the Special Prosecutor as a judgment debt as Mr Forson claims.
"Your intentional, malicious and deliberate defamatory words used to describe any payments to me of any part of the outstanding orders of the Court given on 4th September 2014 were understood by ordinary and right-thinking members of the public to mean and you intended them to mean that the Government unlawfully had colluded with me in my capacity as the Special Prosecutor to dubiously pay me some money and other benefits resulting from Court orders," Mr Amidu said in a statement published on his website.
"The words you used in describing my supposed dubious collusion with the present Government to satisfy outstanding orders accepted and left by your Government also expressly and by innuendoes created in the minds of right thinking member of the public that I lacked the high moral integrity to be the Special Prosecutor.
"I am by this letter, therefore, demanding an unqualified apology and retraction from you, Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, of your defamatory statements and publications about me alleging the dubious payments of judgment debts to me as the Special Prosecutor within seven days. made with me at my nomination to fight the canker of corruption were not intended to be actualized in practice".
In the letter, Mr Amidu stated that on July 12, Mr Forson addressed a press conference outside the floor and chamber of Parliament where he said the Special Prosecutor had been paid a judgement debt.
"The interview you granted to the Parliamentary Press corps while standing with them outside the chamber of Parliament in which you made the said international, deliberate, malicious and defamatory statements about me and two other entities have been published on air, repeated and discussed extensively on several of the print and electronic media. Your voice recording has also been widely played and discussed in the media while video recording have been published and also discussed on the electronic media including YouTube," the letter said.
"In making and causing the defamatory materials to be published about me in my current official capacity as the Special Prosecutor, you as a former Deputy Minister for Finance from 2013 to 6th January 2017 and the current Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament knew that I had not obtained any judgment or order(s) from any court of competent jurisdiction in my capacity as the Special Prosecutor to be paid any judgment debt since my nomination, approval and appointment to the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Nonetheless, you chose out of malice and with the intention to defame me in person and in my current office as Special Prosecutor to refer to me by the title of my current appointment as a public officer instead of my personal name in making and publishing your defamatory statement about my person and integrity".
Mr Forson's comments followed a disclosure by the Finance Minister to Parliament that the Akufo-Addo administration had paid over GHc280 million as judgment debts since it took office in 2017.
Mr. Amidu also stressed that a court case, which began on January 30, 2013, where he sued for payment of his salary areas, was done in a personal capacity and not as Special Prosecutor.
He said he commenced the personal action for arrears of rent allowance, payment for earned annual leave, terminal benefits, compensation for breach of contract and accrued interest on the said sums from the date of accrual to the date of payment.
"As Deputy Minister for Finance in the previous Government from 2013 to 6th January 2017 you knew that I commenced an action in my personal name on 30th January 2013 in Suit No. AP/159/13in the case of Martin A. B. K. Amidu vs the Attorney-General seeking an order for the payment of my salary arrears, arrears of rent allowance, payment for earned annual leave, terminal benefits, compensation for breach of contract with accrued interest on the said sums from the date of accrual to the date of payment, amongst others".