Censure Committee violated the rights of Ofori-Atta – AG
Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Justice, said the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee, which investigated the Censure Motion against Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, violated his rights.
He noted that the Finance Minister was not given the requisite opportunity to defend himself in line with constitutional requirements.
Mr Dame said this on the floor of Parliament during the debate on the Censure Motion, which was brought against Mr Ofori-Atta by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Caucus, alleging mismanagement of the economy.
Invited by Parliament to give his legal opinion on the matter, the AG said: “Mr Speaker I refer to the request by the Minister of Finance for the production of documents that he required in order to assist the defence of himself. I also refer to the request for full particulars by the Minister in order to assist an efficient defence of his matter.”
He said in the circumstances and in the interest of fair hearing and justice, it was agreed with Counsel for the Finance Minister that transcript relating to submissions by proponents of the Motion be made available to the Minister and formal particulars for each of the grounds contained in the motion.
“Mr Speaker, this is where the Committee, with all respect, got it grossly wrong. The Committee in the circumstance sacrificed justice and due process on the altar of expediency and convenience and that is unconstitutional and renders the whole exercise a nullity.”
He said full particulars would enable the Minister to have a proper defence to the action, would constitute a setting out of the allegation against him, setting out the particulars in support of the allegations and not what they described as grounds for the allegations.
Mr Dame said the House, in all respect, would note that there was, right from the inception, a violation of due process against the Finance Minister.