Ofori-Atta happy with Committee’s decision to strike out grounds one, three of Censure Motion
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, says he is pleased with the decision by the Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on Censure to strike out grounds One and Three of the list of seven allegations levelled against him.
The Minister made the remarks when he appeared before the Committee to give his testimony.
The Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on Censure was set-up by the Speaker to probe the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Caucus’ Motion calling for a vote of censure against the Finance Minister for mismanagement of Ghana’s economy.
The Committee’s decision was announced by Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, the Co-Chairman of the Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on Censure, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East.
Dr Ayine recalled that on Tuesday, November 15, during the Committee’s sitting, the Finance Minister, who appeared as a person of interest with his counsel, Mr Gabby Asare Ochere-Darko, had raised objection to Ground One of the Motion.
Ground One cites despicable conflict of interest that he (Mr Ofori-Atta) directly benefits from Ghana’s economic woes as his companies receive commissions and other unethical contractual advantage, particularly from Ghana’s debt overhang.
The Co-Chairman said the counsel raised constitutional issues concerning the grounds of conflict of interest in the Parliamentary Motion of Censure of his client.
Counsel noted that the Constitution had empowered the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to deal with the conflict of interest and that it did not lie in the purview of Parliament to deal with the issue.
Dr Ayine noted that Counsel, in his submission, cited a case where his client was taken to court over the issue of conflict of interest, and that the matter travelled all the way to the Supreme Court and judgement was given in his client’s favour.
The Committee had reached a decision that Mr Ofori-Atta would be exempted from answering Ground One it would give a writing ruling on it, he said.
Touching on Ground Three on the “alleged illegal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts in flagrant violation of Article 176 of the 1992 Constitution”, Dr Ayine said both the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) appeared before the Committee on Thursday, November 17, to give their sides of the story.
He said after hearing from both organisations, the Committee had decided to exempt the Finance Minister from answering that question.