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Minority oppose recruitment of new security for Parliament

Leadership of the Minority in Parliament have indicated that they are not aware of the recruitment of new security personnel for Parliament and are opposed to the move.

They describe the new security recruit as “Delta force /invincible forces and are calling for their immediate removal without a delay.

Parliament on Tuesday has a closed door meeting, investigations carried out by ghanamps.com indicates that it had to do with the new security being recruited.

Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak had earlier raised issues with Parliament engaging a private firm to provide security for MPs saying it would not be accepted.

He suspected the recruits were being drawn from the dreaded vigilante groups affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) such as the Delta Force, Invisible Forces among others.

And had been engaged by Parliament and are undergoing training on weekends at both the Chamber and Job 600.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Petition against LI on legal education to be decided on by Parliament

Parliament will take a final decision on a petition calling for the withdrawal of the controversial Legal Profession Regulations 2017 from the House on Thursday February 1, 2018.

Association of Law Students had petitioned the President to impress on Parliament to vote against the regulation.

General Legal Council laid the Regulations in Parliament in mid-December 2017, in response to a Supreme Court order for a clear admission procedure into the Ghana School of Law, and call to the Ghana Bar.

The proposed LI in question, among other things, states that the General Legal Council will conduct an entrance exam for the admission of students to the school, and conduct interviews for all applicants who pass the Ghana School of Law Entrance Examination.

The LI is expected to become Law in February, 2018, but the law students maintained that the document when passed in its current form will only restrict access to legal education.

Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Ben Abadallah, said in an interview that Parliament will hold final deliberations on the petition on Friday.

“The committee met them on Tuesday and we have not taken any definitive decision on their petition. The Committee will meet on Thursday with the subsidiary legislative committee before we can take a definitive decision on their petition.”

He further stated that, Parliament will withdraw the regulation if the Association’s petition is supported by two thirds majority of Members of Parliament.

“It’s either to press upon the General Legal Council to withdraw the regulation failing which it is their prayer that two thirds majority of Parliament will have the regulations annulled. If by the end of the day Parliament is persuaded by their submissions contained in the petition, then we will report to the plenary to have the regulations annulled.”

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Disregard false publications against me—Bolgatanga Central MP

Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo has urged his constituent and members of the National Democratic Congress to disregard publications in the media against him for evading tax and defaulting in loan payment.

He noted that this empty and failed attempt by elements opposes to his tough and courageous fight to ensure that Government delivers to the people of Ghana should be disregarded.

“My company ceased to be a going concern several years ago and has no business interest to warrant any audit. There is absolutely no tax audit against me or my non-operating company and I have no indebtedness to SSNI”.

According to the Bolga Central legislator there is not court case against him and there would be none, as he is focused on the task ahead of him.

And promise to expose Governments serious rots incompetence and cluelessness in running the economy in the coming days.

Mr. Adongo ask his constitute to support him in prayers for his life as that is the only thing, “they can take from me to silence me”.

On the issue of GN Bank, he noted that he would tell his story at the right time.

And said Ghanaians should expect more from him after the President’s state of the Nation address.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com


Bolga Central MP among loan defaulters of GN Bank

Member of Parliament for Bolga Central, Isaac Adongo’s name had been published in the state owned Daily Graphic as one of the 80 clients who had defaulted in paying a loan they took from the GN Bank Limited.

Mr. Adongo’s name and picture appeared as the 13th on the list of GN Bank’s loan defaulters as IA Corporate Support Services Limited is written by the Bolga Central legislators name and picture.

The bank directed Mr. Adongo to contact its Northern Ridge branch “to settle your outstanding credit”.

Checks done by ghanamps.com indicate that IA Corporate Support Services Limited, which belongs to Mr Adongo, took a loan of GHS25,000 from GN Bank in the past and paid some of it.

It is, however, not clear how much of the loan was paid by IA Corporate Support Services Limited and how much is left to be paid.

When ghanamps.com caught up with the Bolga Central legislator for comment on the issues in question he said, “I would not comment to glorify this story at the appropriate time you would hear from me”.

Do the right thing in the absence of the Speaker—Minority leader

Minority leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has urged the House to do the right thing, by announcing the absence of the Speaker Professor Mike Oquaye and notify the House that the first Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu would be presiding in the chair.

The House spent almost 30 minutes in resolving this issue as the Minority, wanted to know the where about of the Speaker.

According to the Minority the usual practice had been anytime the Speaker is not in the chair to preside over business of the House, an announcement is made to that effect. The Minority pointed out that, that should have been the first thing on Tuesday 30th of January 2018 before first Deputy Speaker presided over business of the House.

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu called on the first Deputy Speaker, Mr. Joseph Osei Owusu to urge the Clerk who is the Speakers adviser on the standing orders of the House to do the right thing.

The Minority Chief Whip, Mohamed Muntaka Mubarak drew attention of the House that there had been several instances the first Deputy Speaker had traveled on Parliamentary business in the country out of Accra and had been marked absent.

Again when members are seated in committee rooms and did not come to the chamber or go to the mails room to sign they are marked absent.

He quoted standing order 13 (2) “Whenever the House is informed by the clerk at the Table of the unavoidable absence of the of Mr. Speaker, the First Deputy Speaker shall perform the duties and exercise the authority of Mr. Speaker in relations to all proceedings of the House until Mr. Speaker resumes the Chair, without any further communication to the House”.

And added, “Absence from the chair” is the key word that should be dealt with since the Speaker is not in the chair he is absent and the needed announcement should be made.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Ras Mubarak heads to Supreme over swearing in

As the controversy rages on, on how many times the Speaker should swear the oath as an Acting President, Kumbungu Member of Parliament (MP) Ras Mubarak has served indications that he would be heading to the Supreme Court to seek an interpretation of the law that requires the Speaker to be sworn in to act.

MPs from both side of the House have raised issues with the House being called within a week to swear the Speaker twice and he taking the oath of the President, whiles the elected Head of State and his Vice are outside the jurisdiction.

According to him, the Constitution is not clear on the circumstances which require the Speaker to be sworn in as the elected President may still be able to perform his duties even though he is not in the country.

According to him, swearing in the Speaker actually makes our democracy a lot more exciting but as exciting as it is, it is important to also test the Constitution. “I am of the view, that if the President of the Republic and the Vice President are out of the jurisdiction, does that incapacitate them and make them unable to perform the functions of President and Vice?”, he queried

President can send e-mails from wherever he is in the world directing his Chief of Staff and his Ministers to carry out certain instructions. If he does not trust e-mails, he can send telegraphs from wherever he is around the world and he can make phone calls, he said.

He further pointed out that, when the President is out of the jurisdiction then it means he’s unable to perform his functions is clearly an anomaly. He does not necessarily have to be in the country physically to perform his duties. When he travels outside the country he does so in his capacity as elected President of the Republic of Ghana.

The President’s physical absence from the jurisdiction does not incapacitate him from performing his functions, he lamented.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com   `

Where is the Speaker Professor Oquaye—Minority asks?

Minority in Parliament on Tuesday sort to know the where about of the Speaker, who is acting as President in the absence of the elected President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Vice Dr. Bawumia.

First Deputy Minority whip Ahmed Ibrahim raised the issue on the floor of the House, when he quoted Order 13 (2)

“Whenever the House is informed by the clerk at the Table of the unavoidable absence of the of Mr. Speaker, the First Deputy Speaker shall perform the duties and exercise the authority of Mr. Speaker in relations to all proceedings of the House until Mr. Speaker resumes the Chair, without any further communication to the House”.

He added that resuming sitting after weekend swearing of the Speaker as acting President, there had not been any better communication.

Leader of government business and Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu called on the House to come to a determination on the issue, because there had been instances where the Speaker had been in Parliament in his office doing business.

And the first and second Deputies had to take over affairs of the chamber and an announcement had not been made to that effect.

He further pointed out that, during the turner of former Speaker Justice Banford Addo, the first Deputy Speaker Doe Adjaho was in the chair presiding issues were not raised, but the Speaker was in her office.

According to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, the House should come to a determination as to when the “absence” is applicable. Is it when out of Ghana or what?

What about if the Speaker is not in the Chamber but in his office performing a business in the House or had travel outside Accra in the other regions performing business, let us come to a determination as a House, he said.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Trade Ministry erred – Controller & Accountant General

The Controller and Accountant General, Eugene Ofosuhene has told Parliaments adhoc Committee that the Ministry of Trade and Industry erred in using public account to receive monies from private businesses in the Ghana Expatriate Businesses Awards saga.

The decision by the Ministry in issuing the General Counterfoil Receipt (GCR) and its official account to collect monies and transfer same to the Millennium Excellence Foundation contravenes regulations 14 of the Financial Regulations Act of Ghana, he said.

According to him, if the Ministry had contacted him, he would have kicked against it and rather advice for the opening of a separate account for that purpose.

He said this when he appeared before Parliaments five member adhoc committee investigating allegations of collections and levies from expatriate businesses to enable them sit close to the President of the republic during an awards ceremony.

The committee which was expected to have presented its report to the plenary last Tuesday, January, 24 was given up to 31st January to submit the report due to its inability to complete its work on time scheduled.

The extension was reached based on a mutual agreement among leadership of both sides of the house following a request by the committee.
The delay was due to the failure of the expatriate businesses last week to appear before the adhoc committee which had to reschedule to meet them in camera.

It will be recalled that on January 5, 2018, the Minority Chief Whip,Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak moved a motion at an emergency sitting of Parliament urging the House to investigate the alleged levies collected by the Ministry of Trade & Industry of the Ghana Cedi equivalent of various sums up to US$100,000.00 from expatriate businesses and related matters during the recently held Ghana Expatriates Business Awards in Accra.

According to him, the documents at his disposal clearly showed that some monies were collected from expatriates, noting that such was unethical.

The motion was seconded by the MP for North Tongu, Samuel OkudzetoAblakwa.

By Christian Kpesese/ghanamps.com

Publishing voting records of MPs is a better way of assessing us—Ras Mubarak

Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak is advocating for the voting record of MPs to be made public as it is one of the better ways constituents would assess their MPs and what they do in the legislature.

He further noted that the voice vote was okay, but does not give Ghanaians the better picture of work done by MPs.

According to the Kumbungu legislator, Ghanaians would be able to go to the website of Parliament and assess the way MPs vote on matters that come before the House.

“We all get painted with the same brush, when laws are made and in the view of the public those laws are not good and cannot stand the test of time, people say “why would Parliament pass such a law”. For all you know some MPs might have opposed some laws being passed, but once it is passed it represents Parliament, he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ras Mubarak revealed his intention to go to the Supreme Court and seek interpretation was to when the Speaker takes an oath once it does not cover for the whole of the four year term.

He noted that it costs the nation, when MPs had to be recalled on weekends and on recess, “do we have to convene each time the Vice President is not around and the President is traveled?

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com.

Speaker is twice President in One week

In compliance with the dictates of the 1992 constitution, for the second time within a week, Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye has been sworn in as acting President of the republic by the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo at a brief ceremony in Parliament House last Saturday.

The swearing in was necessitated by the departure of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who will be away from January, 27-January, 31 to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 2018 Ordinary African Union summit and then proceed From Ethiopia to South Africa, where he will attend the funeral of the late South African legendary trumpeter, Hugh Masakela who died last week.

The Chief Justice administered the oaths of allegiance and President to the Speaker amidst shouts of “yeah…yeah…Mr President, reshuffle!, reshuffle!! by the lawmakers.

The swearing in of the Speaker for the second time in a week however did not go without expressions of reservations by the lawmakers who ordinarily should have been in their constituencies attending to other equally important issues.

Ras Mubarak, Member of Parliament for Kumbungu disclosed his intention to go to the Supreme Court to seek a review of its earlier ruling on the matter, where two citizens challenged former Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho who refused to repeat the oath any other time the President and the Vice President were out of the jurisdiction.

Managing Director of Accra base, City FM, Samuel Atta-Mensah, and a United States of America-based Ghanaian lawyer, Prof. Kwaku Asare, in 2015 filed a suit at the court, to among other reliefs, seek an interpretation of Article 60 (12) of the 1992 Constitution, which requires that the Speaker takes the oath of office each time he is to act as President.

The Court ruled that the Speaker must take the oath any other time.

Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor, on his part said the 1992 Constitution was silent on whether or not the acting President could hire and fire a government appointee, hence the need for clarity.

He also expressed concern about whether the President’s traveling to a funeral is of more importance to issues facing the development of the country.

Lawyer Dafeamekpor also raised about the economic cost of Parliament’s sitting on that Saturday for the swearing in ceremony to the national purse.

Article 60(11) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that: “Where the President and the Vice-President are both unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker of Parliament shall perform those functions until the President or the Vice-President is able to perform those functions or a new President assumes office, as the case may be.”

By Christian Kpesese/ghanamps.com