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04.02.2009 Politics

4 Ministers In Danger

By Daily Guide
4 Ministers In Danger

Hannah Tetteh FOUR OF the ministerial nominees scheduled to appear before the Parliamentary Vetting Committee from Friday are in danger of being disqualified following a petition filed against them by a pressure group calling itself the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG).

AFAG is also getting ready to hit the law courts if the said nominees are allowed to sail through.

The group is alleging that the four nominees had acted in a way that reeked of disdain and a conscious disregard for the basic laws of Ghana at a time when they were occupying high public offices and are therefore not fit for ministerial positions.

The ministerial nominees on whom the searchlight has been put are Ms. Hannah Tetteh, the President's nominee for the position of Minister for Trade and Industry; Ms. Sherry Ayittey, nominee for the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology and Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, nominee for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also affected in the petition is the rather impressive and intelligent Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu.

Lawyer Godfred Dame, spokesperson for the group, told journalists at a press conference in Accra yesterday that Ms. Tetteh continued to hold on to her full-time employment at the Ghana Agro Food Company (GAFCO) at a time she was a sitting Parliamentarian.

Mr. Dame explained that information available to his group suggests that Madam Tetteh did not seek the permission of the Speaker of Parliament as required by the Constitution but continued to enjoy two sets of salary while she was representing the people of Awutu Senya.

“We deem Ms. Hannah Tetteh's conduct as flagrantly unconstitutional and highly dishonourable... we cannot fathom how in the circumstances, a person who has shown utter disregard and disdain for the basic laws of Ghana encapsulated in the 1992 Constitution can be called upon to preserve and protect the Constitution,” Dame added.

On Sherry Ayittey, Lawyer Dame noted that very grave and adverse findings of financial impropriety, fraudulent behaviour and forgery have been made against her in an audit report of the present Auditor-General.

“In the face of this report of the Auditor-General which has not been set aside, it is totally wrong and prejudicial to the interest of the nation for Ms. Ayittey to be nominated....Ms. Ayittey must purge herself of these adverse findings in order to be fit for consideration by Parliament for approval as a minister,” he said.

The group cited similar criminal charges on the head of Muhammad Mumuni after the Auditor-General had investigated some decisions taken by him when he was Minister of Employment and Social Welfare.

“It is remarkable that those findings were to the effect that through the gross negligence of Alhaji Mumuni, the state had lost a colossal 15 billion old cedis through his involvement with the NVTI alone; further Alhaji Mumuni was found to have authorised the fraudulent releases of amounts in excess of 19 billion cedis from the Consolidated Fund,” the spokesperson stated.

Mr. Dame read a portion of the final audit report on the case, which stated that Alhaji Mumuni should be made to ensure the repayment of the amount in question into government chest.

AFAG stated that it would ensure that the above-named persons purge themselves of the negative tags on their necks; else they do not occupy ministerial portfolios.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo