Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has said that the relationships Kissi Agyebeng had with NPP starwalt, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Dame, got him (Agyebeng) to succeed him.
According to him, Kissi Agyebeng has been a lawyer of Dame and has admitted that he is friends with Gabby and that they are work colleagues.
Amidu, in a statement copied to GhanaWeb, added that it is because of these relationships that the special prosecutor is not able to do his job well.
“This is how come Kissi Agyebeng has turned the Office of the Special Prosecutor into the Office of the Special Protector for his friends and family. Kissi Agyebeng deployed rhetoric to warm his way through the parliamentary approval process and hopes to continue as the Special Protector of his friends and mentors deploying rhetoric in the media.
“But the worries I entertained as to the fitness of Kissi Agyebeng as a surrogate of his two classmates and friends to exercise the independence, fairness and impartiality demanded of the occupant of the Office of the Special Prosecutor came to be articulated not only by Mr. Kwame Pianim but by other eminent members of the public such as Vitus Azeem, Professor Stephen,” he wrote.
Amidu, a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice went on to list the cases where Kissi Agyebeng was either the lawyer of Gabby or Dame and the instances where they worked together.
Read Martin Amidu’s full statement on the relationship between Kissi Agyebeng, Gaddy Otchere Darko and Godfred Dame:
The relationship of Kissi Agyebeng and Gabby Otchere-Darko
The relationship between Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Godfred Dame, and Kissi Agyebeng had dogged the nomination, approval, and appointment of Kissi Agyebeng as the Special Prosecutor. Kissi Agyebeng had also been the personal lawyer for Gabby Asare Otchere-
Darko in suit No. GJ/1394/2020 filed on 2 September 2020 in the High Court (General Jurisdiction) Accra in the case of Gabby Otchere-Darko v Sabah Zita Benson for defamation in respect of an “Audio Visual Post on Facebook” dated 29 August 2020 titled – “Family and Friends Agyapa Royalties”.
At the parliamentary hearing on Thursday, 22 July 2021 to approve or disapprove the nomination of Kissi Agyebeng as the Special Prosecutor to take over from Cynthia Jane Naa Koshie Lampety who had been acting as the Special Prosecutor, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak asked the nominee whether he was a friend of Mr. Gabby Otchere-Darko. Kissi Agyebeng speaking on oath sidestepped this question and answered that:
“Gabby is my professional colleague. My firm has represented him in several defamatory cases.” When Kissi Agyebeng was asked about his relationship with the Agyapa Royalties Transaction he replied as quoted by the media that: “I was not involved in Agyapa transaction in any form or manner… “I certainly will investigate the truth of the matter. I was not involved in the deal.”
The press reportage, particularly with the source as 3news.com, stated that Kissi Agyebeng’s responses were in relation to claims I had made in my article – “Do not defame Martin Amidu in the propaganda to nominate a new Special Prosecutor” dated Thursday 29 April
2021 – stating, inter alia that:
‘Asaase Radio appears to have been so bent on pressurizing the President to announce their preferred choice as the Special Prosecutor (the Agyapa Special Prosecutor) that it forgot that the nomination letter by the Attorney-General was addressed only to the President. How then did the nomination letter of a new Special Prosecutor come into the public domain to make the rounds in the press?
Asaase Radio should also have told the Ghanaian and international public that its surrogate and nominee Special Prosecutor in the published letter is a personal friend and classmate of the Attorney General, and the owner of Asaase Radio all of whom attended the University of Ghana Faculty of Law, and Ghana Law School.
The independence of the Special Prosecutor from the direction or control of any person or authority in the performance of the functions of his office is the operative statutory word for the nomination of an impartial Special Prosecutor! Not a word with an “ism”’.
By the use of rhetoric before parliament, Kissi Agyebeng got away with the contention that by virtue of the fact that he is “a personal friend and classmate of the Attorney General, and the owner of Asaase Radio all of whom attended the University of Ghana’s Faculty of Law, and Ghana Law School”, the owner of Asaase Radio and the Attorney-General who promoted his appointment were and are his professional colleagues.
Secondly, Kissi Agyebeng got away with the fact that he was the personal lawyer for Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko in suit No. GJ/1394/2020 filed on 2 September 2020 in the High Court (General Jurisdiction) Accra in the case of Gabby Otchere-Darko v Sabah Zita Benson. The Writ and Statement of Claim were signed personally by Kissi Agyebeng, Esq, with his personal lawyer’s current licence No. PP00163/20.
Cromwell Gray LLP with founding partners as Anas Anas and William Kissi Agyebeng is a partnership and not an incorporated limited liability company for purposes of professional liability.
Consequently, Kissi Agyebeng’s answer to parliament at his vetting that:
“My firm has represented him in several defamatory cases” was a disingenuous and dishonourable way of sidestepping the question, to say the least.
Thirdly, the sole subject matter of the suit for defamation that Kissi Agyebeng brought on behalf of his friend, classmate and political mentor, Gabby Otchere-Darko against Sabah Zita Benson, as Kissi Agyebeng endorsed on the Writ of summons, was an “Audio Visual Post on Facebook” dated 29 August 2020 titled – “Family and Friends Agyapa Royalties”.
The attached endorsed relief setting forth the defamatory words was made up of five paragraphs of text narrative contained in Sabah Zita Benson’s audio-visual post on Facebook. And at the time Kissi Agyebeng was answering the questions on oath at his parliamentary vetting the Agyapa Royalties Transaction Report by the OSP that had been submitted to the President and published on 3rd November 2020 showed “the role the President’s cousin who established Africa Legal Associates, and Asaase Radio played with White & Case LLP, of London, one of the foreign law firms in the suspected corruption transaction.”
The President’s cousin who established Africa Legal Associates referred to in the Agyapa Report was none other than Gabby Otchere-Darko.
Kissi Agyebeng was still the lawyer for the plaintiff in the Benson case when he appeared for his vetting and yet looked parliament in the face to say that: “I was not involved in Agyapa transaction in any form or manner… I certainly will investigate the truth of the matter. I was not involved in the deal.”
Surely Kissi Agyebeng was not a party to the anti-corruption risk assessment conducted by the office he was being vetted to assume, but how could he tell parliament that he had the fairness and impartiality to investigate any matter contained in the Agyapa Transaction Report in which he had openly taken sides by the issuance of a writ and statement of claim for his friend, classmate, and political mentor?
Kissi Agyebeng knew he did not have the impartiality and independence to investigate the Agyapa Transactions when appointed the Special Prosecutor, but deliberately lied to parliament to secure its approval. Why? Because the Agyapa Royalties Transaction was the subject matter of the defamation suit he filed against Benson leading to his appointment as the Special Prosecutor, since “one good turn deserves another”.
This is how come Kissi Agyebeng has turned the Office of the Special Prosecutor into the Office of the Special Protector for his friends and family. Kissi Agyebeng deployed rhetoric to worm his way through the parliamentary approval process and hopes to continue as the Special Protector of his friends and mentors deploying rhetoric in the media.
The warnings contained in my article dated 29 April 2021 as to the suitability of Kissi Agyebeng, a surrogate for Gabby Otchere-Darko and the Attorney-General, for appointment as the Special Prosecutor were ignored. I had warned that:
Asaase Radio and the nominator of the proposed new Special Prosecutor know or ought to have known the extent of the involvement of their surrogate as a lawyer for suspects in pending suspected corruption cases in which the Government showed an undue interest in the Office of the Special Prosecutor which I await to see how independently and impartially those cases will be handled to the conclusion should the President submit the name of the nominee to Parliament, he is approved, and then appointed….The fight against corruption in Ghana has been and is still in State Capture. Mark my words!
But the worries I entertained as to the fitness of Kissi Agyebeng as a surrogate of his two classmates and friends to exercise the independence, fairness and impartiality demanded of the occupant of the Office of the Special Prosecutor came to be articulated not only by Mr. Kwame Pianim but by other eminent members of the public such as Vitus Azeem, Professor Stephen.
Source: The Herald