8-member committee formed to probe minority’s allegations against minister

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Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin
Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

Mr Alban Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, on Thursday constituted an eight-member Ad-hoc Committee to probe the allegations for the motion of censure raised by the Minority Caucus in Parliament against Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance.

The Committee is expected to be co-chaired by Mr Dominic Ayine, a National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament (MP), for Bolgatanga East, and Mr KT Hammond, a New Patriotic Party member and MP for Adansi-Asokwa.

The eight-member committee, which has four members from each side of the House, has seven days to present their report to the House for debate.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP, North Tongu; Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, MP, Klottey-Korle; Mr Bernard Ahiafor, MP, Akatsi South; Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, MP, Okaikoi Central; Mr Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, MP, Asante Akim Central and Mr Egyapa Mercer, MP, Sekondi are members of the committee.
According to Mr Bagbin, the setting up of the committee would provide an opportunity for the finance minister to respond to issues of conflict of interest raised by Mr Iddrisu.

He said: “The evidence will be placed before the committee. The Minister will have the opportunity to defend himself. A report will be presented to the House, and we will debate that report.”

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader of Parliament moved a motion on the floor of Parliament calling for a vote of censure against Mr Ofori-Atta, accusing him of mismanaging the economy.
Mr Iddrisu said the motion was by Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution and cited seven grounds for it.

Mr Bagbin as part of his ruling also dismissed a preliminary objection raised by Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Deputy Majority Leader to the Minority Caucus’ motion.

Despicable conflict of interest ensuring that Mr Ofori-Atta directly benefited from Ghana’s economic woes as his companies received commissions and other unethical contractual advantages, particularly from Ghana’s debt overhang is among the basis upon which the Minority cited its vote of censure.

They also cited Unconstitutional withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund in contravention of Article 178 of the 1992 Constitution, supposedly for the construction of the National Cathedral.

According to the Caucus, illegal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts, in violation of Article 176 of the 1992 Constitution was another ground for the censure.

“Deliberate and dishonest misreporting of economic data to Parliament. Fiscal recklessness led to the crash of the Ghana Cedi.

“Alarming incompetence and frightening ineptitude resulted in the collapse of the Ghanaian economy and an excruciating cost of living crisis,” the censure stated.

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