The Minority in Parliament has said the dismissal of a motion it filed to have the house investigate President John Mahama for receiving a Ford Expedition as a gift from a Burkinabe contractor, was arbitrary.
Speaking to journalists immediately after Mr Edward Doe Adjaho’s ruling on Thursday, 1 September, Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said dismissing the motion without even giving parliament the chance to consider the matter amounted to arbitrary interpretation of the constitution on the part of both the Speaker and the Majority.
In dismissing the motion, Mr Adjaho, told the house that a search by the clerk of parliament indicated that the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) had received three separate petitions concerning the same issue and was already looking into the matter.
The president’s acceptance of the SUV as a gift from Mr Djibril Kanazoe, who was in turn awarded numerous contracts by the government of Ghana, was the issue of contention which the minority described as misconduct on the part of the president.
Mr Adjaho said: “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.
Majority Leader Alban Bagbin had earlier described the motion filed by the Minority MPs as “most certainly a needless waste of scarce resources and precious time when Members of Parliament ought to be engaging their constituents”.
Mr Bagbin, who made these comments at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday August 31, further accused the Minority of mischief. He indicated that nowhere did the motion the minority filed talk about impeachment of the president, yet members of the NPP kept talking about impeachment from one media house to the other.
“Contrary to the claims being made by members of the minority and their surrogates in the media that the recall is to impeach President John Mahama, nowhere in their motion was there the remotest suggestion of impeachment of the president,” he stressed.