General News of Sunday, 4 September 2016
The President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, has opined that the minority in parliament should have petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on the Ford vehicle that was given to President Mahama by a Burkinabe contractor.
Three petitions have already been presented to the CHRAJ by the Progressive People’s Party [PPP], the youth wing of the Conventions People’s Party [CPP] and a private citizen.
Franklin Cudjoe is therefore saying that the minority could have presented a fourth petition to the commission, just to put some more pressure.
“I totally understand why the minority decided that they wanted to bring this matter to parliament. CHRAJ may be a lame duck because it has had a lot of problems. Even if it was for show purposes, the minority could have also petitioned CHRAJ and organised some sort of a float on the day they present it. That would have put some pressure on CHRAJ,” he said.
Speaker wasn’t speaking against substance of the case
Franklin Cudjoe also said that, he didn’t think that the speaker of parliament was addressing the substance of the matter when he dismissed the motion that was presented by the minority seeking to cause an investigation into the matter.
According to him, the speaker was looking at the procedure when he dismissed the motion on Thursday [September 1].
“I think that the speaker was looking at procedure, he wasn’t speaking against the substance of the case. The speaker said that this wasn’t the avenue. There may be constitutional reasons why the matter could be discussed; I don’t know if the case of double jeopardy applies here too.”
Minority’s motion dismissed by Speaker of Parliament
The minority in parliament presented a petition to the speaker calling for an investigation into the car that was gifted to the president by a Burkinabe contractor, who later got some juicy contracts from the government.
This compelled the speaker to recall MPs from recess within seven days after the petition had been presented to him.
On the day of the sitting, the Speaker did not allow the house to debate the matter; but went on straight dismiss it. According to the Speaker, various legal and constitutional provisions indicate that the body mandated to deal with such issues is the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, (CHRAJ).
He also listed a number of such cases against public officials which he said were investigated by CHRAJ hence Parliament has no business in looking into President Mahama’s Ford saga.