Ad-hoc committee report on censure motion against Ofori-Atta laid in Parliament

The eight-member Ad hoc committee’s report on the motion of censure against Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, has been laid before Parliament on Friday 25 November 2022.

Mr Andrew Asiamah Amoako, the Second Deputy Speaker, presiding, directed that copies of the report be made available to all members of the House.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, on November 10, moved a motion in Parliament calling for a vote of censure on the Finance Minister, accusing him of mismanagement of the economy.

The motion, which was in accordance with Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution, cited seven grounds for the vote of censure.

They include a despicable conflict of interest that Mr Ofori-Atta directly benefits from Ghana’s economic woes as his companies receive commissions and another unethical contractual advantage, particularly, from Ghana’s debt overhang.

Ground Two alleges the unconstitutional withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund in blatant contravention of Article 178 of the 1992 Constitution supposedly for the construction of the National Cathedral.

Ground Three alleges the illegal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts in flagrant violation of Article 176 of the 1992 Constitution.

Ground Four alleges deliberate misreporting of economic data to Parliament, whereas Ground Five alleges fiscal recklessness leading to the crash of the Ghana cedi, which was currently the worst-performing currency in the world.

Ground Six accuses the Minister of displaying gross incompetence and frightening ineptitude resulting in the collapse of Ghana’s economy and an excruciating cost of living crisis; while Ground Seven alleges the gross mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy, which the Minority said had occasioned untold and unprecedented hardship.

Mr Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, subsequently, referred the Motion to eight member AD-HOC Committee to investigate the allegations leveled against the finance minister by the minority caucus and report to the House for an appropriate decision be taken on the motion.

A three-day public hearing, consequently, commenced on Tuesday, November 15, during which the Minister denied any wrongdoing but justified grounds for taking some decisions which according to were within his mandate under the constitution of Ghana.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, however, apologised to citizens for the economic difficulties find themselves in.

During the hearing, the Minister’s lawyer raised an objection on Ground One by that the issue of conflict of interest was beyond the jurisdiction of Parliament so the Committee decided to refer that to the plenary for consideration.

With regard to Ground Three, the Committee after hearing testimonies from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee decided there was no need for the Minister to respond to the issue and decided to submit a written report on it to the plenary.

The bi-partisan Committee had Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga East for the Minority Caucus, and Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Adansi Asokwa, for the Majority Caucus, as Co-Chairmen.

The Minority Members of the Committee included Samuel Okudzoto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu; Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, MP for Klottey-Korle, and Mr Bernard Ahiafor, MP for Akatsi South.

Members of the Majority side included Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, MP for Okaikkwei Central; Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, MP for Asante-Akyim Central; and Mr Andrew Egyapa Mercer, MP for Secondi.

The Committee’s report is to be made public after it is read by the committee to the full House.

 

By: Martin Kwabena Ahwireng | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana

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