We’ll reject attempts to weaken us – Minority – Starr Fm

The Minority in Parliament has served noticed it will reject any attempt by the Speaker Prof. Mike Oquaye to undermine parliamentary oversight.

“When it comes to parliamentary questions go to even the United Kingdom it is an instrument for the exercise of oversight. In Ghana majority of the MPs don’t ask questions because they fear embarrassment to government. Both NDC and NPP have been guilty of it in the past. So the fact that it gets to question time and the majority is not interested does not mean you should deny the minority the opportunity,” bemoaned the leader of the Minority Haruna Iddrisu.

“If you do that you are undermining the quest to exercise oversight through the parliamentary questioning. I have enormous respect for Prof. Mike Oquaye as Speaker, but I will not accept an attempt by him to weaken the exercise of oversight and to weaken political opposition,” he declared in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.

The threat comes after the Minority has stormed out of parliamentary proceedings Tuesday August 1, 2017 over the controversial Ameri deal.

The boycott followed unsuccessful attempts to stop the Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa K.T Hammond from moving a motion in Parliament seeking the review of the deal.

According to a 17-member committee put together by the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, there are technical, financial and legal lapses in the $510 million power contract signed between Ameri Energy and the Ghana government under former President John Mahama.

The committee said although the contractor who built the plant charged $360 million, Ameri forwarded a bill of $510m in the B.O.O.T agreement.

The committee said that was not equitable, informing its recommendation that Ameri should be invited for renegotiation of the $150m commission.

The Addison committee said if Ameri turns down the invitation, government should renounce the contract on the basis of fraud. The committee accused the Mahama administration of failing to do due diligence before awarding the contract since it did not have any information on the shareholders and directors of AMERI and other third parties.

It also said AMERI does not have a license to operate the plants in Ghana which is contrary to section 11 and 25 of the Energy Commission Act. In view of this, the Adansi Asokwa legislator filed an urgent motion in Parliament to have the House overturn the deal.

According to excerpts of the motion, the deal was suspicious based on some fresh information available to Mr. Hammond. The motion has since been moved by Mr. Hammond and subsequently forwarded to the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament.

Angered by the move, the Minority led by its leader Haruna Iddrisu walked out of parliament in protest, arguing forcefully that an illegality is being committed by Parliament.

Addressing the House before the walkout, Mr. Iddrissu said “without debate on it, Mr Speaker we in the Minority were raising constitutional issues relating to the accessibility of the motion pursuant to order 93 (3)… first of all we want to know on which leg and standing the mover of the motion is making this application in this House.”

Citing the aforementioned standing order,  he said it shall be “out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the House has come to a conclusion during a current session.”

Published on 2 August 2017 | 9:25 am at Source