Ofori-Atta is the only Finance Minister since oil production to squander ¢12.4m – Ablakwa speaks ahead of cttee sittings

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a member of the 8-member committee set by the Speaker of Parliament to investigate the allegations against the Finance Minister has indicated that Mr Ken Ofori-Atta is the only Minister of Finance in Ghana since the country started oil production in commercial quantities, to squander a staggering GHS12.4million.

Mr Ablakwa who is also lawmaker for North Tongu said Ghanaians are tired of his recklessness hence he must go.

“For the first time since Ghana started commercial oil production 10 years ago, embattled Ken Ofori-Atta becomes the only Finance Minister to squander a staggering GHS12.4million (GHS12,475,426.01) of our oil revenues to pay a judgment debt. Tired of his recklessness!” he tweeted on Monday November 14.

He added “For the avoidance of doubt, no Ghanaian Finance Minister has ever dared to touch our precious oil revenues for judgment debt. Consistent with dangerous Ken, this reckless conduct was carried out without Parliamentary approval.”

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin set a committee to investigate the allegations made against the Mr 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 Minority accused Mr Ofori-Atta of, among other things, personally benefitting from every loan that the government takes.

But 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