The Martin Amidu Award, the
Whistleblower Act of Ghana
June 17, 2013
How do we reward such a man; a man who risks his life, sticks to
his conscience and principle, goes against the wishes of a president in office
at the time and gets fired from his post?
Parliament should pass
Whistle Blower Act and name it
after Martin Amidu.
Martin Amidu is a hero. After being fired as the Attorney
General by President Atta-Mills, he went on a one man crime hunt
against Waterville Holdings. This past Friday the Supreme Court
ruled unanimously that his case was just and that Waterville
should refund the already paid money to the state.
Joy News writes “The Justices in obiter statement, lauded Mr.
Amidu for his patriotism and chastised the lawyers for
Waterville for failing in their duty to protect the state from
the frivolous claims.”
This very statement from the Justices invites a look at how and
why state institutions like the Attorney General’s office, The
Finance Ministry and Bank of Ghana appended their signatures,
and therefore, their approval for the
default judgment payment.
But it leaves out one critical question: How did the initial judge come
to find in the trial the merit for awarding the
Another question, probably, remains silent
for the Justices for now; that if a sitting
administration, for some reason, could not prosecute the obvious crime
behind the Waterville
default judgment payment,
what will it not do in an election year to retain power so as to
frustrate or prevent future investigation of the crime by a new
and hostile administration?
Thankfully, the answer is in. The nine Supreme Court
Justices were not intimidated.
The Justices' decision underlines significantly the importance
of what Martin Amidu has done. Again, how do we reward such a
We know how some public officers are rewarded for
keeping silent and covering up crimes perpetrated against the
state. Sometimes these officials do so because they are cowed by fear but some
buoyed by a share of the spoil promised to them by the
Others even create the crime, find the wrongdoers and provide
the help for them to collect the loot. These are the
enablers and there are many of them.
Martin Amidu is not an enabler. His recent act was on the side of justice. There
is a need to
reward his stellar act. It would be the first of its kind
in fighting corruption but this
should not be too complex for the ordinary citizen to understand.
Martin Amidu deserves the award because
we want to build a nation of upright citizens.
First, a living memorial should be made for Amidu for his
singular patriotic act. He has shown more bravery than the supposed bravery of all the coup makers of the past
combined. He has made the whole legal system aware that this
legal bravery can be undertaken and accomplished.
By this act, Martin Amidu has saved the state millions of dollars today and
his example will prevent more millions from being stolen in the
future, through such Waterville induced nefarious crimes.
Hence, the suggestion that Parliament should pass a
whistleblower act, if there is no such thing already, and name
it after Martin Amidu.
Second, Parliament should allow a provision in the act to give
10% of any money recovered to the whistleblower. As such, 10% of
the money recovered from Waterville Holdings, and the other
related cases brought by Martin Amidu, should go to him.
The Whistleblower Protection Act has been in existence as a
Federal law in the United States since 1989 and it has worked.
As a concept, it “protects federal whistleblowers who work for
the government and report agency misconduct. A federal agency
violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities
take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against
any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information
by that employee or applicant.” Says Wikipedia.
There is a process for protecting the innocent; accuser or accused. This
process can be copied, or better
still, the concept can be taught by the United States
We need the Whistleblower Act in Ghana because somebody must
have known all along that there was no government contract for Waterville
Holdings, contrary to what the default judgment found and based
the payment on.
Thankfully, the Justices have concluded in their recent judgment
that the claim was false and as such null and void
because the claimed contract had not been approved by Parliament as required by
An article on CitiFMonline said “Mr. Ghartey, who was Attorney
General under the last New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, had
always insisted that, the (NPP) government had declined payment
of the judgment debt because the state had no contract with
The evidence against Waterville was there in plain sight yet no state institution
was anxious or willing to see it. And a president went as far as to
remove Martin Amidu from the Attorney General’s post because he
would not go along with the “gargantuan” crime against the state.
Now, Amidu has been proved right by the Supreme Court by a 9-0
Strangely, we found in our hearts the will to laud President
Atta-Mills when he passed. We argued and debated about how to
build a memorial for him and we did. This is not to begrudge
President Mills any achievement of his own before he died.
So now is the time for a fitting reward for Martin Amidu.
His act was legal, proper and transformative.
The Whistleblower Act of Ghana should be named the Martin Amidu
E. Ablorh-Odjidja,Publsiher www.ghanadot.com, Washington, DC,
June 17, 2013
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