General News of Thursday, 28 December 2017
The Majority in Parliament has described as an effort in futility, the decision by the Minority to push for a parliamentary probe into the ‘cash-for-seat’ by controversy.
According to First Deputy Majority Whip Matthew Nyindam, the move will lead nowhere.
Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak has written a memo to the Speaker, Prof. Mike Aaron Oquaye, demanding an emergency sitting to consider a motion for a parliamentary probe into the scandal.
The Trades Ministry has been embroiled in a scandal involving the collection of $100,000 from expatriate businesses that attended an awards ceremony on December 8, 2017.
The Ministry has explained a private entity, the Millennium Excellence Foundation organized the awards and collected the money.
It said it only wrote a letter introducing the organisers to the expatriate businesses.
The Trades Minister, Alan Kyerematen, was queried over the issue but was later cleared by the Presidency of any wrongdoing. The president said the information available to him on the $100,000 reserved-seat scandal does not support the claim of wrongdoing.
But the explanation has been rejected by many including the Minority who say a bipartisan probe is required and have petitioned the Speaker in that respect.
The house is currently on recess, but about 80 Minority MPs are believed to have signed the petition to recall the house ahead of time.
First Deputy Majority Whip, Matthew Nyindam, said the Minority’s political stunt would yield no results. He insisted there was nothing to be uncovered through a probe since the Ministry involved has already clarified the issue.
Mathew Nyindam cited two instances where the NDC then in the majority, blocked requests from the NPP side for the House to be recalled. Those requests he listed, included issues emanating from the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz as well as then-President John Mahama’s decision to accept a Ford vehicle from a contractor as a gift.
“When they [NDC] were in the majority; when this issue about the Ford Explorer came up, we said the same thing [but] they refused and arrested the motion without even a recall. I remember when the issue about Fortiz came, when we petitioned the Speaker and we came, they never even allowed us to move the motion on the floor. These are even damning issues but they never even gave us the opportunity to be heard,” Mr. Nyindam told JoyNews.
Although the Speaker has the sole prerogative to recall Parliament from break, the Kpandai Constituency Parliamentarian said members of the Minority lack the moral right to make such a demand.
“These are the same people who are calling us to come to Parliament on this issue about the Trades Minister…I think that sometimes we should have principles because it doesn’t make sense. If yesterday what we did was wrong, today we should see it as wrong,” he stated insisting they in the Majority “have nothing to hide.”