The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has stated that assessments on the president’s nominees appearing before the Appointment’s Committee are not done on a partisan basis.
“The Appointments Committee is not the Minority Caucus nor is it just the Majority Caucus. It is just us working together to assess the ministers,” Mr. Iddrisu said at the committee’s sitting on Tuesday.
Indications from him are that the members of the Minority Caucus committee members have not rejected the nomination of any of the President’s nominees as was previously reported.
“I don’t think that people should conclude that there is some wrongdoing [on some of the nominees] concluded by the Appointments Committee or an untoward issue,” the Minority Leader said.
The reports suggested that the Minority MPs had rejected the nominations of Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister-designate for Information; Hawa Koomson, Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture.
Five other nominees Kwaku Agyemang-Manu; Minister-designate for Health, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister-designate for Communications; John-Peter Amewu, Minister-designate for Railways; Kwesi Amoako-Attah, Minister-designate for Roads and Highways and Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Minister-designate for Attorney-General and Justice had their approvals put on hold.
Mr. Iddrisu cited some of the nominees captured in reports saying there were some concerns with their vetting.
He added that the Chairman of the committee, Joe Osei Owusu, will forward the specific concerns “that we have raised about them, and therefore when that is communicated, we will look at them.”
For Mrs. Hawa Koomson, Mr. Iddrisu, for example, he noted that the investigation into the shooting incident during the voter registration exercise in Kasoa on 20th July 2020 was still pending.
On Mr. Agyeman-Manu, the Minority Leader said the committee was still seeking clarity on the procurement process for COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport.
“We demand that somebody must be responsible for the procurement of Frontiers Healthcare limited…We are still not getting satisfactory answers as to how the procurement process was done and completed,” Mr. Iddrisu said.
He further refuted suggestions that the committee was taking decisions based on the perceived arrogance of some nominees.
“Let it not be said anywhere that the Appointments Committee particularly led by the Minority are assessing people based on whether they are arrogant or not. We are simply in respect of some persons demanding better particulars.”
The nominees with outstanding concerns are expected to return to the committee for an in-camera session.
Mr. Osei Owusu, in his comments, criticised members of the committee who spoke out of turn on the vetting process.
He, however, did not cite specific members who he said had misconducted themselves by discussing committee business in public.
Mr. Osei Owusu reminded them that the role of the committee was to make recommendations to Parliament.
“We should please stop pretending that some authority is vested in us as a committee or individual members to make conclusions on the fate of any members.”
“Let us work as a team and as a committee, let us present our report, let us discuss whatever we have at the plenary and make all the comments we want to make at the plenary,” he added.