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13.02.2009 Politics

Vetting of Minister-Nominee ends abruptly


The vetting of Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, Minister-Nominee for the Upper East Region, ended abruptly to enable him to go and prepare adequately to face the Parliamentary Appointments Committee at a later date.

Mr Woyongo was the first Nominee to have had his vetting suspended based on what Mr Edward Doe-Adjaho, Chairman of the Committee, described as grave constitutional and legal matters that could disqualify him from becoming a Minister.

Prior to the suspension of his vetting, Mr Doe-Adjaho questioned the Nominee on issues concerning the importation of some broadcasting equipment into the country and also about whether he was duly registered to vote in Ghana.

The Chairman asked the Nominee whether he was aware that the broadcasting equipment he imported into the country was a subject of a committee of enquiry at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), to which he answered in the affirmative.

Mr Adjaho also asked him whether he was a registered voter and where he registered and the Nominee said he was originally registered at La

Wireless Polling Station in the Dadekotopon Constituency but later transferred his vote to the Upper East Region because he wanted to stand for elections in the Region.

Later on, when the Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu asked if he was aware that a Committee of enquiry at GBC was looking into the importation of the broadcasting equipment, he said: “I am not aware.”

The Minority Leader again asked if he ever appeared before a Committee of enquiry at GBC, he said: “No I only met with the Director General of GBC following, which I was invited by National Security and then to the BNI to answer some questions.”

He further explained that the issues concerning his equipment were duly sorted out and were released to him on tax-exempt basis.

Then much later, when the Minority Leader posed the question again, he said: “I now remember meeting a certain group of people at GBC before I was invited to National Security.”

With regards to the transfer of his vote, the Minority Leader inquired whether his name was on the transfer list or on the main register at the new polling station and he said it was put on the main register.

He explained that he went directly to the IT Department of the Electoral Commission and made the transfer and that was how his name got into the main register in the Upper East Region.

It was at this point that the Minority Leader suggested that his vetting should be suspended for him to prepare well and come back.

Mr Doe-Adjaho upheld the suggestion of the Minority Leader and told the Nominee that the inconsistencies in his responses were grave and it was in his own interest for the vetting to be suspended to give him time to prepare to face the Committee at a later date.