President John Mahama’s comments that the motion by Minority Members of Parliament to have the legislature investigate him over the Ford car gift saga was a “frivolous waste of taxpayers’ money” is unfortunate because the MPs wanted to uphold the 1992 Constitution, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South and Deputy Chair of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, has said.
Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, the Speaker of Ghana’s parliament, threw out the motion of inquiry filed by Minority legislators on Thursday, 1 September, explaining that the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), a constitutional body, was already investigating the case.
In dismissing the motion, Mr Adjaho told the house: “After a careful study of the correspondence from CHRAJ, I have come to the conclusion that the matter is not different in material, in particular from the matter under investigation by CHRAJ.”
Speaking on the matter in an interview on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana on Tuesday September 6, Mr Mahama maintained he did nothing wrong by receiving the Ford Expedition “gift” from the Burkinabe contractor but was “sad” to see the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) engage in “petty politicking” to taint his image.
But responding to this comment by the president in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Wednesday September 7, Mr Atta Akyea said the Minority’s motion was to uphold the 1992 Constitution, and, thus, could not be described as a waste of time.
He said: “The preamble of the constitution said probity and accountability. When you also read the NDC’s manifesto, you will see probity and accountability. And, so, if a matter of this magnitude is up for all of us (Members of Parliament) to meet as a family for parliament to look into the matter to exonerate the president from any wrongdoing and you say this is a waste of resources, then I don’t really get the governance properly”.
He asked: “Is it a waste of resources when we want to uphold the constitution? Then it means we have to collapse parliament because we (MPs) don’t go to the farm. We strengthen the constitution. So, why would you say it is a waste of resources? If you (President Mahama) need loans and we approve, for that one it is not a waste of resources. Nobody can call our efforts to strengthen the constitution a waste of resources.”
Mr Atta Akyea further stated that if the president wants situations that actually waste the taxpayers’ money, he should pay attention to the judgment debt payments handed out to businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome and Waterville, as well as the Asongtaba Guinea Fowl project. “These are what we call the haemorrhaging of the economy, not when someone wants to uphold the constitution.”
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