Historian Anokye Frimpong has alleged that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is lending his support to Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s presidential bid due to concerns about potential prosecution once he leaves office.
He alleged that the President’s backing for Bawumia is driven by the desire to secure his legacy and protect his family’s interests from potential legal consequences.
Speaking in an interview on TV XYZ on August 28, 2023, he claimed that President Akufo-Addo seeks a successor who would ensure his peace of mind and shield him from the possibility of prosecution.
“He is thinking about his old age and what Ghanaians are saying about his government, about running the country with family and friends as ministers and appointees, because of that he cannot do reshuffling, even President Kuffour has called for reshuffling.
“So, the president wants to protect himself and hand over the presidency to someone who he will feel comfortable and confident so that, the person will not prosecute him and his family …for him to have his peace of mind.
“The president wants to protect himself against such things, and the only person who can protect him is Bawumia, that is why he has been following him since, and serving with him for two terms without any issue, so why wouldn’t he trust such a person, this is a person who can protect him and his family’s interests.”
He further pointed to Kennedy Agyapong, another NPP flagbearer hopeful, as a candidate who might be more responsive to public sentiment and demands for accountability, which could potentially lead to prosecution of Akufo-Addo and members of his administration.
“He is afraid of Kennedy because… if Kennedy becomes president today and he is informed that these are the people who collapsed the various banks and caused financial loss to the state as well, Kennedy will listen to the masses and prosecute all of them.”
What the constitution says about prosecution of sitting and former presidents.?
Chapter 8 of the 1992 Constitution, part 1 section 57, clauses 5 and 6 address the issue of prosecution as relates to sitting and former presidents.
It reads: “5. The President shall not, while in office as President, be personally liable to any civil or criminal proceedings in court.
“6. Civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against a person within three years after his ceasing to be President, in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him in his personal capacity before or during his term of office notwithstanding any period of limitation except where the proceedings had been legally barred before he assumed the office of President.”
Point six spells out that former presidents can be sued given that a condition of having left office three years prior is met.
There have been calls previously for some of these provisions with respect to full or partial prosecutorial immunity to be lifted in respect of especially members of the executive and the legislature.