Minority Boycotts Parliament Over Cash For Seat Report

The Minority in Parliament has stormed out of Parliament to avoid being part of the debate to approve and adopt the report of the committee which probed extortion claims against the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The 5-member ad hoc committee of Parliament in its report cleared the Minister Alan Kyerematen and his officials of any wrongdoing over claims that they charged expatriates $100, 000 to secure seats close to President Akufo-Addo at an awards ceremony.

Prior to submitting the Committee’s report to Parliament, the Minority had issued its own version indicting the Ministry of Trade and Industry of engaging in “serious ethical violations” by allowing its credibility as a public agency to be used to “amass profit” at the awards.

Ahead of the boycott, the Minority Leader Harruna Iddrisu told the House there was no need to rush the report since MPs are yet to study it.

“I got a copy of my report only this morning and it’s only fair and proper… why the rush and why are you in a hurry? 146-page report in the interest of transparency and accountability, this matter cannot be railroaded through Parliament.

“I need to read like any other member to satisfy myself. So Mr. Speaker this report is one-sided by the chairman. I’m sorry, we’ll be guided. You can proceed but the Minority is unable to participate in the debate,” the Tamale South lawmaker declared before marching his members out of the Chamber.

The Committee in a 146-page report sighted by Starr News said: “… After the hearings and the analysis and evaluation of the evidence adduced before it has come to a conclusion that there is no merit in the allegations leveled against the Ministry of Trade and Industry as contained in the Motion and which culminated in the setting up of the Special Committee.”

The Committee, however, made the following recommendations: “That the Controller and Accountant General and the Ministry of Finance should consider in the formulation of the new Regulation of the PFM Act, adequate provision to cater for public private partnership arrangement and emerging or contemporary issues.

“That there is a need to have a second look at the recall mechanism and ensure that it is not needlessly invoked at any time because of its mandatory nature in the Constitution. Upon a recall, Mr. Speaker may have to establish that there is a “prima facie” case and if Mr. Speaker is not satisfied that there is a good reason for the summoning, he may dispense with the meeting. This test is likely to curtail frivolous and vexatious request for a recall.

“That the practice of some Members of Parliament trooping to the media to make allegations against highly placed officials must cease. The Committee is of the view that Members of Parliament who indulge in such acts ought not to be heard in Parliament if they should thereafter bring those matters before Parliament for Parliament to deliberate on the matter.”

The Committee is presenting the report to the House for approval and adoption today, February 6, 2018.

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com