Govt Loans: Parliament is complicit in the challenges of Finance Minister – Jantuah

A Private legal practitioner Mr Kwame Jantuah has said Parliament should also be held liable for the challenges with the loans that the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has taken.

Mr Jantuah said all the loan agreements that were signed by the Finance Minister were approved by Parliament.

In his view, the Legislature could have been more probing and meticulous in approving the loan agreements than what they did.

Contributing to a discussion on the move by the Minority to vote out the Finance Minister, on the Big Issue with Roland Walker on TV3 Friday November 11, Mr Jantuah said “Maybe, Parliament too is complicit in the challenges and the things especially on the loan side that Ken Ofori-Atta has indulged in, both sides of the House.

“Don’t [the loans] come to the House for them to vote on? Don’t they ratify it. When they ratify it they give him the the go ahead to take the loans or he did it on himself?

“Parliament has a responsibility or they have something to answer to the people of Ghana and yes, they should have been harder when the loans were coming and going, they should have been harder on the Finance Minister.”

The Minority had accused Mr Ofori-Atta of, among other things, personally benefitting from every loan that the government takes.

After proceedings in Parliament on Thursday November 10, the the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin set a committee to investigate the allegations made against the Ofori-Atta by the Minority in Parliament for which they filed a motion to get him removed from office.

The 8-member committee, co-chaired by Dr Dominic Ayine and KT Hammond, lawmakers for Bolgatanga East and Adansi-Asokwa respectively, has within seven working days to complete its work and submit the report

The Speaker’s ruling came after the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament Alexander Afenyo-Markin challenged the motion of the Minority on the basis that the Finance Minister will suffer injustice if the House goes ahead with the application.

Mr Afenyo-Markin indicated that the claims by the Minority were criminal in nature upon a proper scrutiny.

To that end, he called for a fair hearing for the Minister.

The Effutu Member of Parliament said “these matters, upon a proper scrutiny, are criminal in nature. The Minister should be given a fair hearing.”

“If we go ahead with the application we will be doing a lot of injustice to our colleague. If this application is allowed it will be injustice and unfairness, the Minister wouldn’t have been given adequate time to prepare for his defense,” he stressed.

Justifying the motion to get the Finance Minister removed, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said President Akufo-Addo was not ready to sack the Minister.

Therefore, he appealed the Majority Members of Parliament to support the move to get him removed.

In his ruling on this matter, Speaker Bagbin said after announcing the formation of the committee that “The evidence will be placed before the committee. The Minister will have the opportunity to defend himself.

“A report will be presented to the House, and we will debate that report.”

Source: 3news