• +233 20 230 9497

Don’t create the impression the Minority does not want to work — Haruna

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has served notice to the Majority side of the House not to send wrong signals to Ghanaians that the Minority is not willing to work, or cooperate for work to be done in the House.

According to him, his side is willing to respond to the national emergency the country finds itself, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that the legislature is working to address.

His remarks follows the recall of the House on Friday, April 17 from suspension, creating controversy with lawmakers wandering whether the House was going to be adjourned sine die or suspended as usual.

The House which is on suspension was recalled back to approve the report of the Appointment Committee which vetted the Presidents nominee, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye as Deputy Minister of  Health,.

Additionally, the House also considered the Education Regulatory Bodies Bill 2019 which is at the consideration stage, and considered the approval of the rapid credit facility agreement between the Government of Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an amount of seven hundred and thirty-eight million special drawing rights (SDR 738 million).

An, equivalent to about one billion United Sates dollars to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu indicated to the first Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu who was in the chair around 8:00pm, he said, “the first meeting of the fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament remains suspended indefinitely”

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

TOR MD resigns in the wake of $2.5m bribery scandal

Managing Director of Tema Oil Refinery, Mr. Asante Berko has resigned in the wake of a bribery scandal of two point five million United States dollars.

President Nana Addo Dankwa on Wednesday the 15th of April, 2020 received his letter of resignation after it was submitted by Mr. Berko.

A statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr. Eugene Arhin noted that the President has accepted Mr. Asante’s resignation letter and would duly notify the Board of Directors of TOR about the development as the President wished him well in his future endeavors.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Dr. Okoe Boye to be vetted on Wednesday

The Appointment Committee of Parliament would on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 vet President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Deputy Health Minister nominee, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye.

Public hearing of the vetting of Dr. Okoe Boye would be strictly by invitation in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic where social distancing is being recommended.

The Committee is inviting written memoranda on the nominee from members of the general public not later than Tuesday the 14th of April this year.

Pursuant to Order 172 clause 3, the general public was notified of the Ledzokuku lawmaker’s nomination and the process that would lead to his vetting this week as Parliament is on an indefinite suspension and could be recalled any day or time.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

COVID-19 fight: Minority is willing to cooperate with gov’t—Haruna

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has said it is wrong for anyone in Ghana to say the Minority in Parliament is not cooperating with the Majority and the ruling government to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

According to him they are a “very very” responsible Minority; and noted that if the speaker suspends or adjourn the House in consistent with the standing orders of the House, and they are driving home, should there be a national emergency, they would respond to the calling.

Addressing a press conference, the Minority Leader noted that the President should act with caution when it comes to imposition of Restriction of Persons Act approved by the House.

“The Commission of Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) should be interested in human right abuses during this period of containing the spread of COVID-19 as we need repots for Ghanaians to study how our right to dignity was observed”.

In addition, our courts define the use of force by the security personnel and lamented that the use of excessive force is not acceptable.

He gave an example of the Mayor of Tamale going to grave site to drive people away when they have not exceeded the official number of twenty-five people approved for gathering to ensure social distancing.

Again, if care is not taken, a husband and wife riding on a motor bike would be beaten up because of social distancing.

“Where attribution is necessary they should be given, as the country government is using former President Mahama’s Ayalolo buses commendation should be given and we need more testing centers”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“You cannot adjourn one meeting into another meeting”—Second Dep. Speaker

Second Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin has said the decision by Speaker Aaron Michael Oquaye to suspend a meeting is wrong.

According to him, the parliamentary calendar is made up of three meetings in a year and one meeting cannot be adjourned to eat into another meeting, “usually we say either adjourn a sitting or the House sine die”.

Mr. Bagbin further pointed out to journalists in an interview that a meeting can be prolonged by continuously sitting and not adjourning, when you finish the first meeting which is usually from January to March of every year.

“You cannot say you are adjourning a meeting because it has ended by our standing orders and the constitution. Whiles the Second meeting either starts May or June or ends either in July or August every year then we go for a long vacation”, he stated.

Again, he pointed out that a third meeting starts usually either September or early October till the Christmas period, and added that the argument put forth by the Majority Leader, Osei-Kyei that a meeting should be adjourned is wrong.

Mr. Bagbin, recounted that his colleague, the Majority Leader drew his attention to a provision in the Kenya and UK standing orders that take care of adjourning a meeting, “but I have not come across it, and even if it is so with theirs, our constitutional architecture does not allow that”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“I was misrepresented on government picking electricity bills”—Osei-Kyei

Ahead of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s announcement of absorbing fifty percent of electricity bills of Ghanaians in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has dismissed assertions in the section of the media that he had given indications that the government would absorb electricity bills of Ghanaians because of the lockdown and coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with the media in parliament, he pointed out that the whole idea of picking up electricity bills of Ghanaians was being pushed by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to him, what he said was that government was looking into the issue of electricity and considering doing what would be in the best interest of Ghanaians.

“If it should be a defined percentage and how much it should as we all know, electricity cost is about ten times that of water, despite you want to do that to reduce the hardship of citizens. You also want to know the impact of it on the economy so that when the country comes out of the pandemic, the economy is not damaged by the action of government”.

He added that he was taken out of context; adding all he was saying was that government would consider the issue of electricity bill before the fifty percent pick up announcement of the President was made.

“I did not say government was going to pick up electricity bills of Ghanaians as reported by some news portals, I said government was looking at the circumstances and the public purse of the country if it could do something”, he lamented.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

COVID-19 Fight: North Dayi MP educates and support constituents in Accra

Member of Parliament for North Dayi, Joycelyn Tetteh on Wednesday, April 9, 2020 embarked on an education campaign of constituents, resident in Accra on how to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The education campaign on social distancing, washing of hands and staying at home started from Dzorwulu where she distributed some relief items such as rice, oil fish and hand sanitizers to eighty of her constituents and further moved to Shiashie.

Madam Joycelyn Tetteh’s next COVID-19 campaign took her to Spintex where she met fifty of her constituents and gave out same items and educated them against the spread of the disease.

The last destination of the campaign was Madina where the North Dayi lawmaker met thirty-five members of her constituents as they took delivery of the last batch of items.

Madam Joycelyn Tetteh used the opportunity to emphasis the need for her constituents to stay home and observe the World Health Oraganisation (WHO) protocols especially washing of hands, social distancing and avoiding touching of faces and handshaking.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“I sat down because mace was taken away”— Bagbin

Second Deputy Speaker of the seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has said he sat back despite initially standing up for Speaker Professor Aaron Oquaye to recess out of the House after suspending the House.

According to him he stood for the speaker to recess out of the chamber but when the symbol of authority, the mace was taking away he sat back, he told journalists who wanted to know why he disrespected the Speaker.

The Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had earlier in an interview noted that the Second Deputy Speaker was being “remote controlled” by standing up for the speaker to recess out of the chamber was instructed and sat back.

“We give respect to the Speaker through the authority of the mace, so when I sit as a speaker, I have same authority, taking the mace away when you suspend sitting is illegal and wrongful. I have no authority to obey. I sat back, people do not understand, this it is very clear in the standing orders, what is happening is that parliament is continually sitting even when we are in our constituencies”, Mr Bagbin said.

He further emphasised that when one suspends sitting, it means the House is still sitting and the mace should be properly placed in the House that is the floor of the House.

“You saw me saying, do not remove the mace, when it was done I took it that we are in abnormal times so abnormal things are happening, we have to accept it because Ghanaians are looking forward for leadership to be united to fight the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Mr. Bagbin noted that, that is what lawmakers from both side of the House has been working towards.
And he has told the Majority Leader that a forum of the Leadership should be created so that before the business is brought to the House, procedures are iron out together, the leaders would inform members before business of the House starts.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Minority accuse Speaker of illegally suspending and recalling the House

The Minority in Parliament has lamented over the conduct of the Speaker of the Seventh Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye for illegally suspending the House on April 4, and recalling the House back on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

According to the Minority, the business conducted on Wednesday 8th of April 2020 could have long been concluded before adjournment despite persistent calls from the Minority Leader.

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu in addressing the media noted, the House’s Standing Orders were breached in Wednesday’s proceedings. Order seventy-five (75) was appropriate and not Order seventy-two (72).

And further added that the inability for the Majority Leader to locate the Minister of Health was unacceptable as he was needed to brief the House.

On the Minority position on the president’s interventions on the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus, Mr. Iddrisu noted that President Nana Akufo-Addo did not appear to consult stakeholders with the confusion among stakeholders like the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).

Again, measures taken by the president were not adequate and must intervene in electricity bills, communications data, LPG, petroleum prices as articulated by former president John Mahama.

“Frontline should be properly defined to avoid the current confusion as security personnel’s are also frontline’s and can be categorized on other jurisdiction and should not be left out. We condemn the current shabby treatment they are receiving in respect of cut of their allowance of ten Ghana cedis (10) per day”.

The Minority further demanded a national COVID-19 plan which should be adequately costed to guide the nation’s response in its preparedness and social mitigation strategy, in addition the Minority called for cut in expenditure in order to save resources that would be channeled into the fight against corona virus.

“In the absence of a costed plan and expenditure cuts the Ghana Heritage Fund should be totally off Governments contemplation and the alleviation programme to be implemented should be non-partisan. We would insist on safeguarding and ensuring that the funds we have approved are not used for partisan campaign”, the Minority emphasized.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Parliament’s Re-call: “I predicted Speaker had no business for us”—Sam George

Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel Nartey-George has said he has been vindicated for predicting that the re-call of Parliament was not worth it, adding, he knew the Speaker does not have any business for lawmakers.

According to him, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday did not present any plan before Parliament to deal with COVID-19.

Most lawmakers on the Minority side Ghanamps.com spoke to were not happy that they were re-called back from their constituency only to have the Finance Minister present a statement on the fight against the spread of COVID-19 only for the Speaker to suspend the House indefinitely.

In an interview with the Ningo-Prampram lawmaker, he pointed out that he was expecting that as the statement of the Finance Minister was referred to the Finance Committee, they would work and present their work back to the plenary but only to hear the House has been suspended indefinitely.

“This was expected when you have a Speaker who thinks he is a law onto himself like I said to him in the letter I wrote to him, he should go and read Article 296 of the 1992 constitution, discretionary power must be used in fair and just way and not capriciously and maliciously in an arbitrary manner”.

Mr. Nartey-Gorge pointed out that re-call of lawmakers is just an abuse of power by the Speaker Oquaye and he is becoming a threat to Ghana’s democracy.

As to what can be done to stop this, he noted that; “We are in a quagmire, you go to court and you are not even sure of getting justice in the courts”, he lamented.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com