General News of Wednesday, 7 February 2018
The Minority in Parliament on Tuesday dissociated itself from the Report submitted by Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, the Chairman of the committee set up to investigate the “Cash for Seat” allegation against the Ministry of Trade and Industry at the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards.
Describing the 146-page Report as a “gargantuan cover-up”, the Minority had earlier staged a walkout from the Chamber when the motion was moved on the Report for lack of ample time, at least 48 hours, according to the Standing Orders of the House, to elapse before motion could be moved for debate.
The Minority told a press conference, after the walkout, that: “We will not be part of this gargantuan cover-up.”
The press conference was addressed by the Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu.
In attendance were Deputy Minority Leader James Klutse Avedzi and Dr Dominic Ayine, both members of the Committee.
Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, directed the formation of the five-member bi-partisan committee following an emergency recall of the House on January 5, 2018, at which Minority Chief Whip Aljhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, moved a motion for investigation into the collection of monies from the expatriate business community during the GEBA ceremony last year.
Members of the Committee were Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, MP for New Juaben South, Yaw Buaben Asamoah MP for Adentan, James Avedzi Klutse MP for Ketu North and Dr. Dominic Ayine MP for Bolga East.
“If you see the Minority dissociate ourselves it is because we are convinced the edge of justice is not being used right,” Mr Haruna Iddrisu said.
Mr. Avedzi and Dr Ayeni said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had already made its mind on the matter and glossed over ethical issues adding that the Minority would, therefore, write a separate report, which was a true reflection of the findings.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, before the chairman presented the report, told the media that the MPs from the Minority side on the Committee had notified the Minority Leader that they wanted to write a separate report, citing misrepresentations and factual inaccuracies in the report presented by the Chairman.
The report cleared the Ministry of Trade and Industry and asked Parliament to reconsider the mechanism for recalls to the House as it described some recalls as “needless.”
It recommended that members who troop to the media to make allegations should not to be heard in Parliament when they approach the House with same matters.
It suggested that the Controller and Accountant General and the Ministry of Finance should consider the formulation of a new regulation of the Public Financial Management Act, with adequate provisions to cater for public private partnership arrangements and emerging and contemporary issues.
The Report also suggested the need to have a second look at the recall mechanism and ensure that it is not needlessly invoked.