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09.02.2009 Politics

Minority stage walk out over Mummuni’s vetting

By gna
Minority stage walk out over Mummuni’s vetting

The Minority side of the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday walked out of its sitting in protest to the Chairman’s ruling on the vetting of Alhaji Mohammad Mummuni, Minister-Nominee for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

After almost an hour of back and forth on whether the nominee should be vetted or not since there was petition by Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) against his nominations.

The petition, as cited by the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, alluded to a 2004 forensic audit report from the Auditor General’s Office, which made allegations of fraud against the Nominee.

The Nominee had the opportunity to explain that the matter was in court and that he was seeking four relieves against the Auditor-General and three other defendants.

Based on the submission of the Nominee, members took turns to cite Order 93 (1) of the Parliament Standing Orders to say that Parliament and for that matter the Committee needed to wait for the matter to be determined by the courts before proceeding with the vetting of the Nominee.

But Mr Adjaho ruled that to the extent that the forensic audit report did not emanate from a Commission or Committee of Enquiry, the Committee was not bound by its contents so the petition should be set aside for the vetting of the Nominee to continue.

“Moreover since the Nominee is qualified to be a Member of Parliament he is equally qualified to be a Minister of State, according to the Constitution,” he said.

The Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu described the ruling of the Chairman as “bogus” in the light of one of the Committee’s own yardsticks, which stated that in the case of allegations of fraud such as was contained in the audit report, the Committee should wait for the matter to be determined by the courts before proceeding with vetting.

“You handed this yardstick to us and now you are turning around to make a ruing that does not uphold your own yardstick and you expect us to stand by your ruling?

“You can’t have your way through whimsical and capricious rulings.”

The Chairman insisted that the Minority Leader should follow due process in challenging his ruling and that his ruling on the matter was final.

The Minority Leader then stood up and led his members out of the meeting, while the Majority Members continued to vet the Nominee.

AFAG recently made a public pronouncement in the contents of their petition against the nominations of four Minister-Nominees.

In the case of Alhaji Mummuni, it was in respect of 2004 four forensic audit report citing him for fraud in the case of some 1.3 billion Ghana Cedis that the State lost in respect of some projects at National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) during his tenure as Minister of Employment and Social Welfare.

But when the Minority walked out the remaining Majority members continued and finished vetting Alhaji Mummuni, who answered questions with regards to regional integration, the relevance of Ghana’s foreign policy to the people of Ghana and also about how to pursue economic diplomacy for the benefit of the citizenry.