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Re-introduced RTI Bill – MP

The Minority chief whip Honorable Muntaka Mohammed –Mubarak in an interview with ghanamps.com is calling for space to be made available for the Right to Information Bill to be re-introduced.

Previous sixth Parliament of the fourth Republic could not pass the (RTI) Bill before, the life span of that Parliament elapsed, despite crusade from civil society to get the last Parliament pass this Bill.

The Asawase legislator’s comment comes in the wake of the agenda of this meeting being presented House without the Right to Information Bill (RTI) being part of it.

“They are assuring us, that it will come, but looking at the business for this week and next week it has not been captured”, he lamented.

Mrs Kate Addo, acting director of  public affairs in Parliament in an interview noted that, “at some point in the life span of the seventh Parliament the Right to Information Bill will be re-introduced but not in this sitting.

There is the wiliness of all the parties concern to have the Bill re-introduced and passed, other Bills to be re-introduce include, the plant breeders Bill and right of spouses Bill  which were not passed by the previous Parliament, she said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

It is shocking – Minority Whip

The Minority chief whip, Honorable Muntaka Mohamed-Mubarak has express shock with the position of the Local government and rural development Minister and the Senior Ministers not being part of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet in an interview.

For the first time in the history of Ghana, Local government and rural development Minister not being part of Cabinet, I am surprise he remarked.  Looking at the “role that we were made to know they will be playing, the Senior Minister and the Local government and rural development Minsters it is surprising that they are not Cabinet Ministers”, he said.

He wondered why Ministers of state made the Cabinet list and question why the list was full of Minsters coming from the Eastern Region. the Asawase law maker pointed out during the interview that, the two Ministers will be attending Cabinet meeting,  “the cabinet position comes with salary and other condition of service it comes with a lot of influence believe”, he remarked.

He further added that, if you know the emolument structure, if someone is a Cabinet Minister and the other is not the weight allotted to them is different, I know others who are not Cabinet Minister you could gloss over it.

“May be for the government, the two Ministerial position are not priority areas, if they were I do not see why they will not be on the list”.

Minority leader Honorable Haruna Iddrisu, raise question on the floor of the House as to when the cabinet list will come before Parliament, before the previous meeting ended.

Speaker of Parliament Rt. Honorable Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye announce the following Minsters as cabinet Ministers. Minister of Trade and Industry- Alan Kyeremanten,  Minister of  Finance Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Defence Dominic Nitiwul, Interior Minster Ambrose Dery, Minister of Energy Boakye Agyarko, Attorney General Gloria Akuffo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister of Agriculture Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto Minister of Education Dr Matthew Opoku

Prempeh, Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister of Regional Reorganization and Development Dan Kweku Botwe Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu, Minister of Sanitation and water Resources Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Railway Development Joe Ghartey, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Ignatius Bafuor Awuah,  Minister of Transport Kweku Ofori Asiamah,  Minister of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts Catherine Afeku and Minister of Special Development Initiative Mavis Hawa Koomson.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

President names cabinet

President Nana Akufo-Addo has finally named nineteen persons to form his cabinet.

The Cabinet list was submitted to the Floor of Parliament and announced by the Speaker of the House, Professor Michael Ocquaye.

The Cabinet is constituted in conformity with Article 76 (1) of the 1992 constitution

Find below the full list

Minister of Trade and Industry – Alan Kyeremanten

Minister of Finance – Ken Ofori-Atta

Minister of Defence – Dominic Nitiwul

Minister of Interior – Ambrose Dery

Minister of Energy – Dr. Boakye Agyarko

Attorney General – Gloria Akuffo

Minister of Foreign Affairs – Shirley Ayorkor Botchway

Minister of Agriculture – Dr. Owusu Afriyie AkotoEnergy

Minister of Education – Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

Minister of Health – Kwaku Agyemang-Manu

Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation – Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei

Ministry of Regional Reorganization and Development – Dan Kweku Botwe

Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources – John Peter Amewu

Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources – Joseph Kofi Adda

Ministry of Railway Development – Joe Ghartey

Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations – Ignatius Bafuor Awuah

Ministry of Transport – Kweku Ofori Asiamah

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts – Catherine Afeku

Ministry of Special Development Initiative – Mavis Hawa Koomson

Parliament reconvenes today

After going on break for almost two months, the Parliament of Ghana is expected to reconvene, Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

This, being the 2nd Meeting of the 1st Session of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic is projected to be parked with lots of activities with Members expected to participate fully.

A statement released by the Public Affairs Directorate of the Parliament of Ghana and signed by its Acting Director, Kate Addo, indicates that fourteen (14) Bills will laid during the Meeting. Some of these Bills include;

Ghana Railway Development Bill, 2017; Creative Arts Bill, 2017; National Employment Bill, 2017; Ghana Shipper’s Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017; Ghana Cocoa Board (Amendment) Bill, 2017; Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017; and the National Road Safety Agency Bill, 2017 among others.

Ten (10) Instruments are also expected to be presented during this Meeting some of which include; Receptive Centers Instrument, 2017; Labour (Domestic Workers) Regulations, 2017; Ports (Amendment) Regulations, 2017; and the Driving Schools and Instructors Regulations, 2017 among others.

At least twelve Papers, according to the statement, will be presented. Some of these include; Report of the Auditor-General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the second half year ended 30th June, 2016; Report of the Auditor-General on the Management and Utilization of District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) and other Statutory Funds for the year ended 31st December 2015; Progress report of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), for January to September, 2015; Annual Report of the Public Interest and Accountability (PIAC) on the Management of Petroleum Revenues for the year 2015.

About 13 directives from the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, the statement added, will also be considered. The areas include; Effects of sand winning in the country; xenophobic situation in the South Africa; use of live ammunition by the police in the Dalon Community to control irate youth in 2016 during which Gainu Abdul Rahman was hit in the led by a stray bullet; and the Kintampo waterfalls disaster which occurred on Sunday March 2017 and the call on the authorities to put in place safety measures at all tourist sites to forestall future occurrences.


MP abandon ECOWAS Parliament

Member of Parliament for Efutu, Hon. Alex Afenyo-Markin has abandoned the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Parliament, two days after showing up to sign for his allowance   in Abuja.

The Efutu law maker was spotted in his office in Ghana’s Parliament two weeks ago, whiles sitting in the ECOWAS Parliament was on going.   ECOWAS Parliament, started its three weeks session on the 10th of May and will end on the 26th of May 2017.

Checks carried out by this paper within the corridors of ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, can reveal that there is some level of uneasiness among the Ghanaian delegation and officials, as the Efutu MP  has sign for allowance to cover the three weeks period but showed up for only two days.

Members of Ghana’s delegation to ECOWAS Parliament were lip tight when this paper contacted them for their comment on the issue via phone and WhatsApp.

Hon Samson Ahi when reached on phone by this paper directed that, the leader of the delegation should be contacted, since he will   be the best positon to address the issues raised.

Leader of the delegation and   Majority Chief whip Hon. Ameyaw Cheremeh when contacted by this paper to find out if, he had granted permission to the Efutu legislator?

For  three days in running,  leader of the delegation had not responded, the only comment he made on  the second day was, “I am in Parliament, please” as at the time of filling this story the leader has not responded to the enquiries made on the Efutu MP

The Majority side of the delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament is made up of, Hon    Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, Hon.  Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Hon. Ama Pomaah Boateng Hon.  Kwabena Appiah-Pinkrah and Hon Fredrick Opare Ansah.

Whiles the Minority side is made up of, Hon Clement Kofi Humado, Hon Mahama Ayariga and Hon Sampson Ahi.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Minority questions haste to appoint new Chief Justice

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has questioned the rationale behind the hasty appointment of a successor to the Chief Justice (CJ), Justice Georgina Theodora Wood when a Judicial Council is yet to be constituted.

Even though he indicated that Parliament would scrutinise the appointment of the CJ designation, Sophia A.B. Akuffo to deepen and strengthen separation of powers, he was rather disappointed it was done in a rather hasty manner.

“My disappointment is that there is no Judicial Council now, even though the requirements for this is maybe in consultation with the Council of State with the approval of Parliament”, Minority Leader bemoaned.

The President should have been in a hurry to constitute the Judicial Council, which, with respect of other superior Judges would play a role and probably give some guidelines about the appointment.”

While endorsing her nomination, Mr. Iddrisu who is also the Member of Parliament for Tamale South, gave his word of advice to Justice Akuffo as she takes over from someone with rich experience.

Mr. Iddrisu urged the incoming CJ to lead the fight against judicial corruption in order to redeem the lost image.

He also urged her to work to improve the working conditions of judicial staff in the country at this time that staff have been pressing for better conditions of service.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in accordance with Article 144 (1) of the 1992 Constitution named the Supreme Court Judge as a successor to Justice Georgina Theodora Wood whose tenure expires next month.

Ms. Akuffo has been a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana for the past two decades.

She holds a Masters in Law (LLM) from the Havard University in the United States.

One of her famous cases was when she presided over the infamous “Montie 3” in 2016.


Rearrest and prosecute Delta Force hoodlums- Minority charges

The Minority in Parliament is demanding that the freed hooligans and members of the Delta Force must be rearrested and prosecuted with immediate effect.

Addressing a hurriedly organised press conference, the leader of the Minority, Haruna Iddrisu says the decision by the prosecution to enter a nolle prosequi in the infamous Delta Force court invasion scandal is bias, and capricious.

He does not understand how the Attorney General will claim to have no evidence of how the suspects in the scandal invaded the court and freed suspects who were standing trial before the court when indeed facebook and twitter are littered with videos and pictures of the unfortunate attack.

He said justice must be done and it must be seen to be done, failing which the independence of the judiciary will be grossly undermined.

The press conference is in reaction to a shocking decision by a Circuit Court in Kumasi to discharge eight suspects and members of the NPP vigilante group Delta Force for lack of evidence.

The eight, last month besieged the courts with chants, insults, disrupted the court process and freed their colleagues who were standing trial for attacking the Ashanti Region security coordinator.

Videos of the vigilante group invading the court went viral, with the Ghana Bar Association, Christian Council and other identifiable groups all condemning the incident.

In the face of the criticisms, the IGP, Asante Appeatu, Interior Minister Ambrose Dery and the president Nana Akufo-Addo all promised to ensure that culprits are dealt with under the law.

True to their assurances, the 13 suspects who escaped from the court voluntarily returned to police custody. They were later fined Ȼ2,400.00 for breaking custody.

In addition, eight of the suspects who were said to have masterminded the attack on the court were also arrested with the promise to prosecute them.

Barely a month after the arrest, the eight suspects were on Wednesday discharged by the Circuit Court in a ruling that has shocked many Ghanaians and angered the minority in particular.

The eight are Abass Caesar, Ebenezer Opoku, Samuel Yeboah, Kofi Fosu, Christian Anokye. The others are Kwame Frempong, Eric Kusi and Abdul Suleman Odudu.

At a press conference the Minority Leader said the decision is evidence of a government pandering to partisan pressure at the cost of justice delivery and respect for the rule of law.

This can undermine the independence of the judiciary,” he said adding the decision by the court is in violation of Article 296 (a) and (b) of the constitution, both of which talks about the exercise of discretionary powers

Reminding the president of his commitment to the rule of law, a commitment he reiterated during his state of the nation address, Haruna Iddrisu said the president must demonstrate leadership and uphold the rule of law.

Rights of Judge

He said the judge, Mary Sankyire who was insulted and intimidated by the “hoodlums” has every right to work in a free independent environment without any form of intimidation.

He said the actions by the culprits are condemnable and qualify for criminal contempt.

Zanetor embarks on house to house tour in Klottey Korley

Klottey Korle MP, Zanetor Rawlings has embarked on a house to house tour in an attempt to familiarise herself with her constituents.

Zanetor, in a facebook post on her wall revealed that the interaction was fruitful as ideas were shared and exchanged.

On her facebook wall she wrote, “This week, I was on a house-to-house tour of my constituency to interact one-on-one with the constituents. We shared lots of ideas. Klottey Korle is on the rise. #TogetherWeBuild”

Ahead of the December 7 2016 general elections, which saw her party, NDC, lose miserably to the NPP, she campaigned on the mantra “TogetherWeBuild”

This interaction with her constituents is believed to be a means of achieving the mantra she campaigned on.

She won by a large margin beating her closest contender, Philip Addison, who contested on the ticket of the governing NPP.

Her efforts seemed to be appreciated by many people who commended her for ‘walking the talk.’

Parliament is currently on recess and is expected to be reconvened for work to commence on May 28th.

The daughter of Former President Rawlings, has been tipped by many to be a future Presidential aspirant on the ticket of the biggest opposition party, NDC.

It’s Better Now”!!

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman Hon. Ernest Henry Norgbey says, lack of political will on the part of the two major political parties, New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who had one point or the other formed government under the fourth Republic is Hindering the separation of the Attorney-General from the Justice Minister position.

In an interview,  he noted that the time was now right to separate the two positions since the debate over separating the two positions has gone on for so long a time.

His comments comes in the wake of the Attorney-General’s curtailment of the trial of  Delta Force members who stormed a session of the Kumasi circuit court and aided the escape of 13 other colleagues, as  the AG enters a  Nolle Prosequi ( refusal to pursue).

The Ashiaman legislator explained that, “when we talk of partisanship immediately Attorney-General is appointed by a political party in government, there is no doughty that he or she will be bias”, he said.

For justice to be served on the good people of Ghana, the legislator hinted “when our party comes to power I will advocate that we separate the Attorney-General from the Justice Department”, he remarked.

And further added that, he will start the crusade from Parliament House with the Minority caucus members before, the opposition National Democratic Government (NDC) comes to power.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

It Is a Constitutional Obligation- Minority Leader

The Minority leader Hon. Haruna Iddrisu is urging the President Nana Akufo-Addo, to respect the constitution of the Republic of Ghana by making known who his cabinet Ministers are.

“It simply means the President has not been able to properly get government constituted according to article 76 (1&2)”, after hundred (100) days in office, he said in an interview.

He noted that, the President was not respecting the constitutional provisions of article 76 (1&2), “how will communication come to Parliament if Cabinet so approves of a decision. Who together with the President will we associate with that decision, as Cabinet Ministers who participated in the process and discussion leading to that”?

Article 76 (1) “There shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice President  and not less than ten and not more than nineteen Ministers of  State. (2) The Cabinet shall assist the President in the determination of general policy of Government”.

“Within hundred days, many Presidents all over the world are able to constitute Cabinet because that is of priority; it is a constitutional obligation that Ghana has a Cabinet that is of interest to the international community”.

The Tamale South legislator raised the issue of, which Ministers   constituted President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet on the floor of the House before the House went on recess and noted that, that is how they profile the President’s Ministers and people working with him. In practice, communication from the Executive comes to Parliament in two forms, from Cabinet and the President himself.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com