The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Ayawaso West Wogon, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, has revealed that Parliament’s decision to summon MPs from their break, has to do with the Minority’s attempts to put forth concerns over President John Mahama’s Ford gift saga.
Speaking on Citi FM’s News analysis programme, The Big Issue, the MP revealed, “We have asked Mr. Speaker to call back the house… we would want to raise the issue of the gift from Kanazoe to his Excellency the President on the floor of Parliament.”
This was in response to a circular indicating that the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, has summoned parliament to sit on Thursday, September 1, in pursuance of Article 112(3) of the constitution and order 38(1) of the standing orders of Parliament.
Mr. Agyarko however gave no indication if the Minority wanted to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Mahama but he simply said “we will raise the issues…when we get to that bridge we will cross it.”
The Minority in Parliament has already hinted of a possible impeachment process against President Mahama, for accepting the Ford Expedition gift from a Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.
In July 2016, Citi News reported that the Minority had started started collecting signatures of Members in the House in a move some insiders said could lead to a push for impeachment proceedings against President Mahama.
A Deputy Majority Leader, Alfred Agbesi, has however openly warned that the Majority will not tolerate any extra constitutional moves to investigate the President.
President Mahama came under intense public criticism for accepting the Ford gift worth about US$100,000 allegedly to influence him.
Djibril Kanazoe, admitted giving President Mahama the Ford Expedition vehicle, for which the President called to thank him.
The gift, according to reports, was prior to an attempt by the contractor, to win a bid to execute the Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road construction project.
The same contractor had also been contracted to build a wall, at a cost of over half a million dollars, for the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou.
Mahama’s letter to CHRAJ
The Commission on Human rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) indicated that it has initiated steps that could lead to an investigation of President John Mahama, following the receipt of petitions from the youth league of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and another complainant, a private individual.
But President Mahama, in a letter signed by his lawyer, Tony Lithur, asked CHRAJ to dismiss the allegations of conflict of interest.
In the letter addressed to the acting Chairperson of CHRAJ, President Mahama held that he was innocent of all the allegations leveled against him. Can the Minority remove the President?
For the Minority to succeed in grounding impeachment proceedings against the President, at least a third of MPs in the Ghanaian legislature must sign onto the petition for President Mahama’s removal.
Furthermore, for a President to be removed from office under the 1992 Constitution, at least two third-majority of MPs in Ghana’s 275-member legislature, must vote for a motion calling for the President’s impeachment.
Such a vote will be taken only after a five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice indicts the President.
Was Mahama wrong to accept gift?
Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana states, “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office.”
This constitutional provision has informed a new bill, Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013, presented by cabinet to Parliament.
According to Section 21 (b) a public officer many not “ accept a gift, favour or an advantage that has the potential to influence the proper discharge of the public officer’s functions or judgment, from a person with whom the public officer comes into contact in relation to the public officer’s functions.”