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20.02.2009 Politics

Parliament approves Mumuni’s nomination through secrete ballot

By GNA

Parliament on Friday by a majority decision of 116 secret votes against 74 ballots, approved the nomination of Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, nominee for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

The House failed to reach a consensus on the approval of Alhaji Mumuni after a long debate during which some Minority NPP members held that he needed to settle an allegation of fraud against him before assuming the position.

During the vetting of the nominee, the Minority NPP, led by its leader, Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, walked out in protest of a ruling by the Appointment's Committee Chairman, Mr Edward Doe-Adjaho, that the process be continued despite calls from the Minority that they should meet in camera over petitions received against the nominee by some groups.

The petition alluded to a 2004 forensic audit report from the Auditor General's Office, citing adverse allegations of fraud against the nominee.

Alhaji Mumuni had explained to the Committee that the matter was in court and that he was seeking relieves against the Auditor-General and three other defendants.

Based on Alhaji Mumuni's submission, some members of the committee held that the vetting process should be suspended to await the determination of the case in court.

But Mr Adjaho ruled that since the forensic audit report being cited did not emanate from a Commission or Committee of Enquiry, the Appointments Committee was not bound by its contents and that the petition should be set aside to enable the vetting to continue.

This did not go down well with Minority Leader Mensah-Bonsu who described Mr Adjaho's ruling as “bogus” and subsequently led his side to walk out.

However Majority members vetted the nominee and later presented a report to the House, recommending his approval.

During Friday's debate, the Minority maintained that the nominee should clear his name of the allegations before seeking to become a Minister.

Earlier, the House approved six other nominees for various portfolios.

They are Mr Stephen Amoanor, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare; Mr Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, and Madam Halutie Dubie Alhassan, Minister at the Presidency.

Others are Dr George Sipa Yankey, Minister of Health; Mrs Zita Okaikoi, Minister of Information and Ms Hanny-Shery Ayitey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology.

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