Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho was partisan in his ruling on Thursday, 1 September, which scuttled the chances of the Minority to engage the Majority in a debate over the propriety of President John Mahama’s acceptance of a Ford Expedition as a gift from Burkinabe contractor Djibril Kanazoe, Abuakwa South MP Samuel Atta Akyea has said.
In dismissing the motion to have the president probed over the matter, Mr Adjaho told the house that a search by the clerk of parliament indicated that CHRAJ had received three separate petitions concerning the same issue involving the Ford gift and was looking into the matter.
The president’s acceptance of the SUV from his benefactor, who was in turn awarded numerous contracts by the government of Ghana, was the issue of contention which the minority felt was wrong on the president’s part.
Mr. Adjaho, however, told the house that: “After a careful study of the correspondence from CHRAJ, I have come to the conclusion that the matter is not different in material, in particular from the matter under investigation by CHRAJ.”
He indicated that Article 287 of the constitution of Ghana gave CHRAJ the power to investigate matters relating to the breach of conduct involving public officers, for which reason it would not be proper for parliament to take up an issue already being investigated by another body mandated by the constitution to perform such duties.
“It is my view, therefore, that CHRAJ is the institution with exclusive constitutional authority to deal with all relevant matters relating to the breach of conduct of public officers including the matter involving the Ford Expedition vehicle,” he explained.
However, Mr. Akyea told Class FM’s parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan in an interview: “I am hugely surprised that the Speaker, who is supposed to be a benevolent referee of the house, will be seen to be working for the NDC. It’s so obvious that the arguments that the Speaker put out there should have been the arguments coming from the other side trying to test the propriety of the motion. So, the technical knockout should not come from the Speaker; it should come from those who oppose the motion and that is hugely embarrassing. …In my humble view, the Speaker that I hold in reverence, the conclusion of the matter is that all that the NDC should have done in trying to challenge the competency of the motion, the Speaker did for them.”