General News of Thursday, 1 September 2016
The minority leader of Parliament has described as inaccurate claims by General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was abusing Constitutional provisions.
Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu says had the NDC chief scribe applied himself to the law he would have appreciated the motion filed by the minority which sought a bipartisan committee to investigate President Mahama over the Ford gate saga.
“This matter is before Parliament and per Article 187(6) of the Constitution the House is mandated to constitute a committee to deal with it,” he told Evans Mensah, host of Joy FM’s Newsnite programme.
Minority NPP Members of Parliament (MPs) were dealt a terrible blow after a motion that sought to trigger an investigation of President John Mahama for receiving a Ford Expedition was downed by the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho.
The Ford vehicle valued at $100,000 was provided by a Burkinabe contractor.
Joy News’ Manasseh Awuni Azure investigation lifted the lid on the matter which found the President receiving the vehicle in 2012 when he was a Vice President.
The Burkinabe contractor Oumarou Djibril Kanazoe – a friend of President Mahama – was later awarded three government contracts but he rejected the last one after the issue was made public.
Even though government has admitted the President received the vehicle, it has never failed to defend the action of the president.
Functionaries of the NDC compare Ford Expedition to a Mercedes Benz the erstwhile Kufuor administration received from former leader of Libya, Muamar Al Gaddafi. They say if former President John Kufuor was not impeached for flouting provisions of the Constitution, President Mahama should also be spared the noise in the media.
After the Speaker threw out the motion, a fulfilled Johnson Asiedu Nketia told Joy News’ Elton Brobbey the minority in Parliament always “demand constitutional duties to be sidelined.”
He cited the call by the NPP for the voters’ register to be validated and the motion for the President to be investigated as classical cases to support his assertion.
Reacting to his comment, Mr Mensah-Bonsu says Mr Nketia followed his ignorance when he could have consulted the constitution to understand the action of the NPP.
He explained their motion would have improved legislation in the country had the Speaker permitted it.
Mr Mensah-Bonsu says reasons cited by the Speaker and NDC such as Parliament’s inability to investigate a matter before the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) do not stand the test of time.
He said if it were so the Judiciary would not have convicted some judges who were found to have engaged in some impropriety in an investigation undertaken by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.