Produce your National Service Certificates- Lawyer challenges MPs

A private legal practitioner is challenging Members of Parliament, especially those on the minority side to produce their National Service Certificates as they seek to disapprove the Gender Minister designate Otiko  Afisa Djaba.

Yaw Oppong suspects majority of the MPs may not have completely satisfied the dictates of the National Service Act and wondered why they would seek to disapprove the minister designate because she did not do her National service.

Speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis program Saturday, the lawyer stated categorically that failure to complete the national service as required by law is an offence liable to at least five year prison term.

He suggested that not many of the MPs would stand if the National Service law were to be interpreted and enforced to the letter .

Section 401 of the National Service Act requires that all Ghanaians must complete a two-year mandatory national service, six months of which shall be a military training.

He suspects not many would have done the military training, even though it is a requirement by law.

His comments are reaction to threats by the minority side to disapprove Madam Otiko Djaba as Minister because of her confession that she could not do her national service because she was out of the country at the time she completed her tertiary education.

The minister designate had a torrid time with the Minority members of the Parliament Appointment Committee during her vetting proceedings.

Her descriptions of ex-president John Mahama as a wicked, evil and heartless man during the heat of the 2016 campaign came back to haunt her.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu demanded a retraction of the comments and apology for the comments he deemed were unbecoming of a northerner and a minister of state.

But the minister nominee stood by her words. She told the committee members her words were critical but not insulting.

She explained those descriptions were out of conviction because she felt heartbroken by the way the ex-president stood by and watched how his representatives run down the SADA project which was meant to alleviate poverty in the north.

She later revealed midway through her vetting that she did not do her national service.

The Minority members of the committee did not forgive her for the comments she made during vetting. They have vowed not to approve her at the committee level and at the plenary.

Yaw Oppong believes the reasons being proffered by the minority to disapprove her are not tenable.  

But Isaac Adongo MP for Bolga Central who was also on the show said Madam Otiko Djaba is “setting herself for failure”

“You cannot meet a committee and be so arrogant,” he stated. He would rather the minister nominee apologised because Parliament is a house of record and it would be in her own interest that it will be on record that she apologised for the insulting comments she made.

But for the insulting comments, he said the nominee’s appointment would have been good news for all women in the north because not many of those women have the opportunity to serve in the high office of the minister.