The Minister of Education and Sports designate, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo has attempted to set the records straight on the last year's former Speaker's leave saga.
He said he ordered the release of the amount (about $15,000) because he had met personally with the speaker and discussed with him and it was clear the Speaker was sick and needed treatment abroad.
Hon. Osafo-Marfo gave the explanation when he took his turn last week to be vetted in Parliament.
Readers may recall that, during the third Parliament of the forth Republic, the then Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey took days off (leave) to rest in the UK and the Finance Ministry ordered an amount of about $15,000 for him. The Minority group in Parliament did not understand why such an amount could be granted for the Speaker to spent as leave benefit. As a result, an explanation came that, the former Speaker was sick and needed the money for treatment and not that he was on leave.
Now with the letter of the former Speaker's leave out, the Ranking Member of the vetting committee, Hon. A.S.K. Bagbin asked the Minister designate on what grounds he granted the amount for the former Speaker.
The Education and Sports Minister designate said he granted the money because the former Speaker needed the money to go for treatment.
Unfortunately for the yet to be Minister, Hon. Bagbin produced a letter, which stated unambiguously that the former Speaker was going on leave and on which the former Finance Minister had granted the amount.
Hon. Osafo-Marfo told the panel that granting the former Speaker the money was based on the discussions he had with him concerning his health and not the letter Hon. Bagbin was referring to.
The Minister's answer seemed not to have been satisfactory to the Minority Leader but he let it go since time was not on the committee's side.
As a result, will the Vetting Committee have it difficult when it meets behind close doors to approve the Education and Youth Minister for Positive Change chapter two?
The Ghanaian Voice will update its readers as to when and what would happen behind close door, concerning this aspect of the vetting.