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Petitions against ministerial nominees ‘funny’, seeking to settle personal scores – Joe Wise

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joseph Osei Owusu has rubbished petitions by some civil society organisations and labour groups to Parliament’s Appointments Committee ahead of its sitting today, February 10,2021.

Mr Osei Owusu who is the Chairman of the Appointment committee has described the petitions as “funny” even before the committee commences its grill on President Akufo Addo’s ministerial nominees today.

“Many of them, trully, are personal scores…So far there is non that I have read that is alleging wrongdoing on any particular nominee [that] the nominee did ABC or D. Either the implementation of the government policy or an expectation that a particular nominee ought to have done something for him or his group which was not done is the basis of the petition,” he said in an interview with Joy News.

Series of petitions from CSOs have been sent to the House over the conduct of some nominees who held various positions in the first term of the Akufo-Addo administration including a labour group -the Textile, Garment and Leather Employees Union (TGLEU) of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL).

Some of the nominees whose conduct have come under scrutiny are former Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, former Special Development Initiatives Minister, Hawa Koomson; former Trades Minister Alan Kyeremanten; former Employment and Labour relations Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah and former Deputy Attorney General Godfred Dame.

Ken Ofori-Atta

Former Finance Minister Ken ofori-Atta who has been nominated by cousin, President Akufo-Addo, to occupy same office is likely to be grilled during his vetting.

Ken Ofori-Atta

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has levelled series of allegations against him indicating that he does not qualify to serve the country in that capacity again.

The Executive Secretary of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson says one of the issues that seems to be an albatross on Ofori-Atta’s neck is misusing state funds to the detriment of the “suffering Ghanaian.”

“Ken Ofori-Atta will never be the Finance Minister of this country,” Thompson told Dwaboase host on Power FM Friday as he explained that he had lobbied the NDC members of the Committee to disqualify Ofori-Atta.

He said he had furnished the group with the necessary documents of misusing state funds, the “unjustifiable collapse of several bank” that he said does not permit him to occupy a public office.

He said an audited statement from the Auditor-General’s Department indicted Ofori-Atta of opening some accounts that were never gazetted as the laws state.

Hawa Koomson

For instance, CARE Ghana, a civil society organisation, has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin and the leadership of the house to reject the nomination of Mavis Hawa Koomson, as Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture.

A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of CARE Ghana, David Kumi Addo, said the petition to reject Madam Koomson’s nomination or appointment was based on her “credibility deficit”, “violent tendencies” and “incompetence”

Mavis Hawa Koomson

The group said Madam Koomson’s role as the Minister for Special Development Initiative, presented to Parliament a budget of GH¢800,000.00 for the development of a website, which was outrageous.

The petition also said the “deceptive act” demonstrated the lack of credibility on her part and smacked of corruption.

“Her actions are in clear at variance with the law and contrary to the behaviour expected of a Minister of State. Owing to this, she has lost credibility and public respect thereby preventing her from holding any future ministerial position,” the statement added.

Alan Kyeremanten and Baffour Awuah

TGLEU of GFL has also petitioned Parliament not to approve  Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen’s nomination as Trades and Industry Minister, citing the survival of their industry will be difficult under Mr Kyerematen because his tenure in the Akufo-Addo government’s first term, among other things, saw a high cost of production.

Alan Kyeremanten, Minister Designate for Trades and Industry (L) and Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister Designate for Employment and Labour Relations (Middle) with them is Vice President Dr Bawumiah

The labour group also said the Ministry of Trades and Industry (MOTI) failed “to implement measures adopted by critical stakeholders to mitigate the challenges facing the industry to address the deteriorating working conditions of the workers.”

TGLEU also kicked against the renomination of Ignatius Baffour Awuah to continue as Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, saying  he “flagrantly overlooked his responsibility under sections 122 and 124 of the labour ACT 2003 ACT 651 and rather supervised the the Chief Labour Officer to embark on an adventure to polarize AICL workers under the guise of conducting referendum/verification to determine whether majority the workers affiliate to the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) to enable the withdrawal of the Collecting Bargaianing Certificate held by TGLEU for ICU.”

 

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