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Friday, December 3, 2021

Appointments Committee never met NDC MPs over Radio Gold, XYZ licenses – Joe Wise

First deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-OwusuFirst deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu

The first deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has refuted claims some overtures including the release of Abuga Pele and restoration of revoked licenses to NDC affiliated radio stations were wagers for parliament’s approval of some ministerial nominees after vetting.

Reports suggest that some closed-door meetings held at the instance of President Akufo-Addo brokered the deal for which reason former NDC MP for Chiana/Paga Constituency Abuga Pele who was jailed in 2018 for causing financial loss to the state, was granted a presidential pardon.

The said meeting is said to have culminated in the restoration of licenses to Radio Gold, Radio XYZ and a host of other stations owned by NDC bigwigs across the country as well as the protection of Dzata Cement owned by Ibrahim Mahama, brother of the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer and former president John Dramani Mahama.

Speaking on Kumasi-based Ultimate 106.9 FM however, the Bekwai Legislator, denied there was a meeting of the sort even though he would not dismiss the possibility individual members of parliament negotiated on their own accounts.

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He told host, Julius Caesar Anadem, “I am surprised to be hearing this for the first time. I have never heard Abuga Pele or Dr Duffour’s bank linked to the work of the appointments committee. But when it comes to the licensing of radio stations, individual members of parliament, some of whom were members of the appointments committee saw that the ministers’ coming was an opportunity to negotiate.”

“The fundamental principle was that they had breached the rules and it wasn’t that anyone had targeted any radio station because they were affiliated to an MP within any party. For any reason, most of the radio stations were just community stations just helping the community have access to information and not really making any profits,” he added.

He contended that for the four ministers whose fate were held in the balance by the minority for which a vote was taken, extensive deliberations were held between members and the minister nominees for any fears, misconceptions and claims to be cleared before they were put to a vote.

Top executives and followers of the opposition NDC were up in arms against their MPs for the overwhelming votes garnered for the approval of national security minister Albert Kan Dapaah; Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul; Interior Minister Ambrose Dery and Kasoa MP Mavis Hawa Koomson who were all jointly accused of having a hand in the injuries and deaths of some NDC supporters before and during the 2020 elections.

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