Business News of 2014-01-06

Speaker throws out motion on Merchant sale

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho has thrown out a motion filed by 80 Minority Members of Parliament demanding an investigation into the controversial sale of Merchant Bank to Equity fund, Fortiz.

The Speaker said Parliament cannot be seen to be prejudicing a case that is currently before the courts. According to him two legs of the case are already in court with a third being on appeal. He would rather the courts ruled on the matters currently before it than for Parliament to investigate the sale.

An 80-member minority member filed a motion demanding an immediate investigation into the controversial sale of Merchant Bank sale to Fortiz. The Equity fund has already taken over Merchant Bank after paying 90 million cedis for 90 per cent shares in Merchant Bank.

The transaction was shrouded in controversy with many civil society groups demanding an investigation and Andrew Awuni proceeding to court to challenge the sale. The minority also filed a motion demanding an investigation into the sale. The motion led to members being recalled from holidays and an emergency sitting fixed for Monday.

Members of the Majority who were manifestly angered by the recall vowed to shoot down the motion with a fierce argument and they did that, Joy News' Parliamentary Correspondent Elton John Brobbey reported.

Led by the Majority Leader, Benjamin Kunbuor and the Deputy Attorney General Dominic Ayine, MP for Bolga East, the majority argued any decision by the House to investigate the Fortiz deal will amount to a usurpation of the powers of the Judiciary. They claimed the issue is already being dealt with at the courts, and Parliament cannot intervene.

But the Minority, led by Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and the former Attorney General Paapa Owusu Ankomah argued that, Parliament as representatives of the people had every right to investigate any matter that is of significance to the people.

They insisted the matter currently before the court is whether Andrew Awuni had the right to sue, adding, Parliament can go ahead with its investigations. The Speaker gave a one hour break and returned with a verdict to dismiss the motion filed by the minority.

The minority members who are not the least happy with the verdict are planning to hold a press conference to make their opinions on the verdict known to the Public, Elton Brobbey told Myjoyonline.com