The Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Appointments Committee have so far rejected three of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s 30 ministerial nominees while five others have been deferred to reappear for further questioning.
Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson and Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto have been rejected for various reasons.
Those deferred are Communications Minister nominee, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; Railways Minister nominee, John Peter Amewu; Roads Minister nominee, Kwasi Amoako-Attah; Attorney-General and Minister of Justice nominee, Godfred Dame and Health Minister nominee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
Made up of a total of 26 members – 13 each from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party Caucuses – the Committee commenced the constitutionally mandated vetting process on February 10 and is expected to finish on March 9.
The NDC MPs, led by Haruna Iddrisu, a Ranking Member on the Committee, have outlined reasons why they took such a decision.
Reasons for the rejection
Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who appeared before the Committee on February 18, was reportedly rejected on three grounds.
The Minority MPs said they were not satisfied with the answers he gave regarding his private businesses.
According to them, the Ofoase Ayeribi MP has an 83% share in a company called Oval Market Finance. This finance company is believed to be involved in some suspicious third-party lending.
Also, they say he has dealings with MX24 GH, a content creation, digital agency and media production house located at East Legon, which he said he didn’t have anything to do with during his vetting.
Overall, the NDC MPs accused Mr Oppong Nkrumah of being untruthful with his answers during his vetting.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister-designate, Mrs Koomson, who was vetted on the same day was turned down mainly for the gun-shooting incident that occurred during the registration of voters in her constituency.
During her vetting, the 55-year-old admitted to firing warning shots in self-defense and apologized to the Committee and Ghanaians in general for her conduct.
Although MP for Asawaase, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, questioned the genuineness of her apology owing to the fact that she had failed to follow up on her constituents who may have been injured or lost their property in the incident, Mrs Koomson stated that she was unaware of any such injuries or losses.
Following the incident last year, the Crime Officer, who was in charge of investigating the shooting incident, was suspiciously transferred from the Central Region.
According to the Police, the transfer formed part of an ongoing reshuffle in the Ghana Police Service.
Regarding the Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, he is accused of unilaterally cancelling a horticulture contract with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority on January 11, 2021, without authority.
This cancellation, according to the Minority Group, was unauthorized as he was only a caretaker Minister.
Further, the cancellation, they say, will lead to a $50 million judgment debt for the country.
Following the rejection of these candidates, their nomination will be presented to Parliament for a vote.
Meanwhile, the NDC MPs say their reasons for the deferment of Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is for overseeing the discriminatory closure of some radio stations.
The nominee, during her vetting two weeks ago, said the National Communications Authority acted in accordance with the Electronic Communication Law of 2008 in shutting down radio stations.