Accra, Dec. 08, GNA – The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament Thursday lost the vote of censure motion against Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister.
The 136 NDC-Members of Parliament (MPs) voted, en bloc, in a secret ballot to censure the Finance Minister for allegedly mismanaging the nation’s economy but this failed to meet the constitutional threshold of two-thirds (183) of the 275 Member-Parliament.
At the end of the debate on the motion, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Majority Leader of the House, declared that his side was washing their hands off the Censure Motion, and led his side to walk out of the Chamber.
The motion was moved by Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the NDC Minority Leader against the Finance Minister for alleged mismanagement of the nation’s economy on seven grounds.
Earlier on, the Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah-Dame, argued that
the Finance Minister was not given the requisite opportunity to defend himself in line with Constitutional requirements.
Mr Ofori-Atta, for his part, denied any wrongdoing saying the state of the economy was the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and external factors as the economy was doing well until then.
The seven grounds of the motion include despicable conflict of interest alleging that Mr Ofori-Atta directly benefitted from Ghana’s econonic woes as his companies received commissions and other unethical contractual advantage, particularly from Ghana’s debt overhang.
Ground Two alleged 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 alleged the illegal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts in flagrant violation of Article 176 of the 1992 Constitution.
Ground Four alleged deliberate and disreporting of economic data to Parliament, whereas Ground Five alleged fiscal recklessness leading to the crash of the Ghana cedi, which at a time became the worst performing currency in the world.
Ground Six alleged alarming incompetence and frightening ineptitude resulting in the collapse of Ghana economy and an excruciating cost of living crisis; while Ground Seven accused the Minister of gross mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy, which had occasioned untold and unprecedented hardship.
Following an objection on Ground One by the Finance Minister’s lawyer that the issue of conflict of interest was beyond the purview of Parliament, the adhoc Committee, which held a public hearing on the motion, decided to refer it the plenary for consideration.
With regard to Ground Three, the Committee after hearing testimonies from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) decided there was no need for the Minister to respond to the issue and that they would submit a written report on it to the plenary.
Source: Ghana News Agency