Muntaka AblakwaMubarak Muntaka Mohammed and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
The much-awaited special ad hoc parliamentary committee’s report on the ‘Cash for Seat’ probe was laid in parliament yesterday after several ‘fine tunings’ in a secluded environment to keep the content away from the public before debate commences on it.

Debate on the report will begin on Tuesday and the content will be made public.

However, the laying of the report was not without controversy, as the minority members on the committee said their views were not captured in the report.

A member of the committee, Dr Dominic Ayine, indicated that the report did not include the final input from the minority members.

The five-member committee, headed by the majority chief whip, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, had consistently asked for more time to compile an elaborate report after its public hearing had ended on January 24, 2018.

It is expected that debate on the report will definitely be hot on political lines after the minority chief whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, had filed an urgent motion asking the house to probe the ‘Cash for Seat’ allegation against some officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the Millennium Excellence Foundation.

The officials were accused of collecting between $15,000 and $100,000 from expatriate business people to sit on the presidential table during the Ghana Expatriate Awards night on December 4, 2017.

 

Meanwhile, the minority in parliament has sought to question what constitutional authority President Akufo-Addo has to suspend the Upper West Regional Minister and ask his deputy to act as regional minister.

The suspension followed the minister’s reported order for the release of party faithful after they had been arrested by the police for ransacking the regional office of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) office in Wa.

Led by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, the minority argued that Article 81 of the Constitution does not allow the president to suspend any minister.

He said the Article emphasizes that a minister or deputy minister’s office will only become vacant if the appointment is revoked by the president or the minister is elected as speaker or the minister resigns or the minister dies, adding that the president does not have the constitutional power to suspend a minister.

According to the Bawku Central MP, the constitution only allows the president to suspend a public or civil servant.

The first deputy speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who presided over proceedings yesterday, said the president had not erred in suspending the minister and that if the minority members had any problem with that, they could go to court to challenge the decision.

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