Members of Parliament will convene today [Thursday], for a sitting after an early recall from their recess by the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho.
A circular emerged on Saturday, August 27, summoning parliament to sit on September 1, in pursuance of Article 112(3) of the constitution and order 38(1) of the standing orders of Parliament.
The summons however did not disclose a reason for the summons; but on Citi FM’s News Analysis programme, The Big Issue on August 27, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Ayawaso West Wogon, Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, revealed that the recall had to do with the Minority’s attempts to put forth concerns over President John Mahama’s Ford gift saga.
Mr. Agyarko was later contradicted by the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who said he had no idea why the Speaker of Parliament had summoned MPs back to the House from their recess.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Politicos, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said that he had not received any formal communication concerning the reason for the summons.
“When I heard from the grapevine that Parliament was being summoned, I was taken a bit aback, especially when there had not been any prior consultations or discussions on the issue with my humble self. Be that as it may, I had to come down,” he said
But the Majority in Parliament has accused the Minority Leader of the House, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, of being economical with the truth.
At a press conference yesterday [Wednesday], the Majority revealed that, the motion for the request for the recall of MPs, which was connected to President John Mahama and the Ford gift saga, was signed by Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu himself.
The Majority thus accused the minority of mischievously trying to throw dirt at President Mahama as the Majority Leader of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, confirmed that the motion was “filed and signed by the Minority leader, Honourable Osei Kyie Mensah Bonsu for and on behalf of the Minority caucus.”
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu later explained that his remarks on Politicos were because he had not been formally consulted by the Speaker as is the practice.
According to the motion dated August 3, 2016, the Minority are trying to get Parliament to constitute a special Parliamentary Committee to investigate the following:
Whether the President of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama received a Ford Expedition Vehicle from a Burkinabe Contractor.
Whether the Ford Expedition Vehicle received by the President infringes any law of Ghana
Whether the Ford Expedition Vehicle donated to the President infringes his own code of conduct.
Any other matter relevant to the above subject.
The Majority in Parliament thus questioned why “the NPP Minority asking Parliament to investigate a matter which is already being investigated by a constitutionally mandated body – the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice?”
Background to Ford gift saga
President Mahama came under intense public criticism for accepting the Ford gift from a Burkinabe contractor worth about US$100,000 allegedly to influence him.
The contractor, 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 which has been flagged by Parliament’s Public Account Committee (PAC).
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.