The locus of the parliamentary ad-hoc committee to investigate the issues of conflict of interest levelled against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has been questioned by Mr Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, the lawyer for the Finance Minister.
An 8-member Adhoc committee has been tasked by the Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin to investigate issues of conflict of interest, financial recklessness, and gross mismanagement of the economy among others tabled by the Minority caucus as grounds to relieve the beleaguered minister of his position.
Mr Gabby Asare Otchere Darko a lawyer and a member of the New Patriotic Party told the committee during its Tuesday 15th November 2022 sitting that the mandate to investigate such issues of the Minister lies within the remit of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.
“Our issue is that, if you go to Article 284 of the Constitution, it says that, a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the function of his office.”
“If you combine that with Article 287 which says an allegation which contravenes or not complied with this chapter shall be made to CHRAJ. The relevant part is that, when a public officer is to face a charge or allegation or any ground of conflict of interest, it is CHRAJ that the constitution says must deal with it,” Gabby added.
But the leader of the Minority Caucus in upholding the powers of the Adhoc committee told Mr Otchere Darko that he was confusing the hearing and enquiring mandate of such ad-hoc committees because his understanding of Article 287 differs from what the counsel inferred.
Mr Haruna Iddrissu also insisted that apart from the hearing mandate of the Committee they also wield the “power to probe all Government borrowing; questioning who got what, when, and how? All the domestic bonds we have done, for instance, the Euro Bond, who got what? We must be interested in whether our inquiry, engendered a conflict of interest or not.”
The underfire Minister is supposed to appear on Friday and respond to all allegations levelled against him by the Minority Caucus. The committee concluded its Tuesday sitting following heated exchanges over issues surrounding how pieces of evidence regarding the issue should be presented.