The 2008 Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the erstwhile NPP Administration, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has denied the allegations by the current Attorney-General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, that she was chased out of office by the then attorney general Akufo-Addo on suspicion that she was too prominent a member of the NDC.
A statement from the office of Nana Akufo-Addo says the former flagbearer is disappointed with what appears to be a convenient lie from the Attorney General.
Read below the full statement
AKUFO-ADDO DENIES HOUNDING BETTY MOULD IDDRISU OUT OF OFFICE
The Office of Nana Akufo-Addo has received with disappointment, reports that the Attorney-General, Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, asserted on Radio Gold on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 that he was instrumental in her resignation from the office of the Attorney-General. The Office of Nana Akufo-Addo wishes to place on record that this is an unfortunate, even if she sees it as a convenient, lie.
Far from hounding her out of office, not only did she continue to act as Head of the International Law Division during the entire two-year period of his tenure as Attorney-General, Nana Akufo-Addo actually left the current Attorney-General behind at the Attorney-General’s Office when he left in March 2003 to take up his new responsibilities as Foreign Minister. Subsequently, he accepted her request for a reference letter to support her application for an international job. In fact, he gave her a glowing reference because he was satisfied about her competence and fitness for the job.
According to the Attorney-General’s own CV, she worked with “Ghana’s Ministry of Justice from 1978 until her appointment at the Commonwealth Secretariat in November 2003. At the Justice Ministry, she headed the Industrial Property Law Division and was later appointed Ghana’s Copyright Administrator before leaving for the Commonwealth job, after serving as Head of the Ministry’s International Law Division.”
On Radio Gold’s 60 Minutes programme, the Attorney-General is reported to have claimed that ‘Nana Akufo-Addo muscled her out of office on the grounds that she was “too prominent a member of the NDC”. And, according to her, “What happened was unpardonable”, causing unimaginable pain to her and her family.’
When Nana Akufo-Addo was appointed by the then President of the Republic, His Excellency J. A. Kufuor, as Attorney-General in 2001, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, then head of the International Law Division, was among the complement of staff he met at the Office of the Attorney General.
It was common knowledge that Mrs. Mould Iddrisu was the wife of the former Defence Minister in the previous NDC administration, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu. This fact led to some lobbying from some quarters for her to be reassigned to another portfolio within the civil service.
Nana Akufo-Addo resisted such calls and defended his decision to maintain her at post on the ground that he had no reason to believe that her political affiliation was affecting either her professional judgment or her competence. Indeed, Mrs. Mould Iddrisu was given additional duties in charge of the de-confiscation of assets.
Unlike the culture of partisan cleansing that competent Ghanaians in the public service have experienced under the current Mills administration, Nana Akufo-Addo stood firm to his principles that insofar as the Constitution of the Republic gave every Ghanaian the right to join a political party of their choice, he was not going to relieve any officer serving under him of their position solely on the basis of their political party membership, affiliation or sympathies.
For him, the only relevant consideration was their competence and professionalism and so long as they did not allow their political sympathies to affect their competence, professionalism and judgment, he would work with them.
Thus, he worked closely with Mrs. Mould Iddrisu and all the other heads of Department he came to meet in the Ministry, and she was still at post when he left the Attorney- General’s Office for the Foreign Ministry two years later.
Mrs. Mould Iddrisu subsequently sought Nana Akufo-Addo’s assistance when she decided to enhance her personal career internationally by applying for a position at the Legal and Constitutional Affairs of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. She approached Nana
Akufo-Addo for a reference in his capacity as her former boss and as Foreign Minister of the Republic, and did not indeed indicate at the time that her subsequent voluntary departure would cause pain to her and her family.
Apart from giving her an excellent written reference, Nana Akufo-Addo personally lobbied the then Commonwealth Secretary General, Don Mckinnon, on her behalf, as he would have done for any other competent Ghanaian seeking an international position.
While Nana Akufo-Addo may empathise with her predicament, whereby influential persons within the NDC are baying for her blood because of her alleged slowness in bringing former NPP government officials to trial, he believes that there are more responsible ways of handling the pressure than resorting to unnecessary fabrications.
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