Ofori-Atta to respond to Minority’s grounds for censure on Friday, November 18

By Iddi Yire

Accra, Nov 15, GNA – Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is to appear on Friday, November 18, before Parliament’s Ad-Hoc Committee in Accra to respond to a motion of Vote of Censure against him for poor management of the economy. 

The Minority had brought the motion, admitted by Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, for which he set up a seven-member committee to investigate the motion. 

Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi Asokwa, and Co-chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee, at a sitting the first sitting on Monday, said the matter had elements of criminality, political and civil responsibilities. 

He said the committee had decided that there must be evidential basis for the allegations that were being made. 

“We accordingly decided that we give the proponents of the Motion the opportunity to present to us (the Committee) and of course more importantly the particular individual involved in this matter and the specifics of the matter…” he said. 

K.T. Hammond had earlier asked that Mr Ofori-Atta appeared on Thursday, November 17, to respond to the issues but Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Counsel for the finance minister, informed the Committee that his client needs 48 hours to prepare adequately for the hearing. 

Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, Co-Chair of the Committee and MP for Bolgatanga East, said Article 82(4) of the 1992 Constitution provided that during the debate for the vote of censure, the finance minister, who was the subject matter of the Motion, had the right to be heard. 

He said the proponents of the Motion were not accusers of the finance minister and that they moved it because in their estimation, the Minister was not performing his public duty as expected of him under the laws and Constitution of Ghana. 

Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the Counsel of Mr Ofori-Atta, in his submission, appealed to the Committee to ensure that documents on specifics of the proponents were made available to his client in the interest of fairness. 

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu stated the seven grounds for the Minority’s motion of censure against Mr Ofori-Atta. 

Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, in his presentation to the Committee on the Motion, accused the Minister of deliberate and dishonest misreporting of economic data to Parliament, among other things. 

A cross-section of the Ad-Hoc Committee

Mr Ofori-Atta was accompanied to the hearing by his wife, Professor Angela Ofori-Atta; Dr John Ampontuah Kumah, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Mrs Abena Osei Asare, a Deputy Minister of Finance. 

The Minority Members on the committee are Samuel Okudzoto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu; Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, MP for Klottey-Korle; and Mr Bernard Ahiafor, MP, Akatsi South. 

Members from the Majority side are Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, MP for Okaikkwei Central; Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, MP, Asante-Akyim Central; and Mr Andrew Egyapa Mercer, MP, Sekondi.