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General News Thu, 1 Sep 2016

Ford gift probe: Parliament can do better – Minority

The Minority in parliament insists there is no better institution than the legislature to have investigated the donation of a Ford Expedition gift to President John Mahama by a private contractor.

To the minority MPs, the Speaker’s decision to throw out their motion was "whimsical and capricious" given that parliament is the second arm of government which has more constitutional powers than the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), which has already started investigations into the matter.

In dismissing the motion, Mr Edward Doe 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 Burkinabe contractor Djibril Kanazoe, 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.

But Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who addressed a press conference shortly after the house suspended its sitting, described the verdict as whimsical and capricious considering the fact that the house did not even debate why parliament had to summon legislators for an urgent gathering.

He disclosed that the Minority would meet and discuss their next line of action which they believe will be in the interest of the nation.

Source: classfmonline.com
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