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08.02.2005 General News

Witnesses against Edumadze turned away?

By JOY ONLINE

The sub committee formed to investigate three ministers designate today turned away three witnesses who had come before it to give evidence against the Central regional minister designate, Isaac Edumadze.

Sources close to the committee told Joy News that the three were denied the opportunity to give evidence because the issues they sought to address were not included in the terms of reference of the committee.

The three witnesses were invited from their bases in Cape Coast and Mankessim by the NPP MP for Asikuma-Odoben Brakwa, P.C. Appiah-Ofori who catalogues a series of allegations against the minister designate in his petition to the Appointment's Committee.

Mr. Appiah-Ofori sent a lengthy petition to Parliaments Appointments Committee cataloguing a number of allegations, which in his view, makes the Central regional minister designate unsuitable for the job.

The NPP MP among other things accused Mr. Edumadze of corruption, bullying and meddling in Chieftaincy matters, issues that were all denied by the minister designate when he appeared before the vetting committee.

The three were therefore brought in by Mr. Appiah-Ofori who had been invited to substantial the allegations in the petition.

The witnesses included a Cape Coast municipal guard, Corporal Joseph Denis Abraham, who was allegedly assaulted by the minister in Cape Coast.

Sources close to sub committee indicate that the committee is only investigating a petitioned brought to the committee by a contactor from whom Mr. Edumadze is said to have demanded ¢ 250 million before awarding his company a contract.

Parliament last week voted to defer the approval of three of the president's 34 nominees for ministerial positions after the Appointments Committee received fresh information challenging the three nominee's suitability to hold ministerial jobs.

The three are the ministers designate for Greater Accra region, Sheik I.C. Quaye, Central region's Isaac Edumadze and Dr. Richard Anane for Road Transport.

The sub committee is expected to submit its report to the Appointments Committee on Thursday.

The sub committee will hold an emergency meeting with the Appointments Committee tomorrow to decide whether the three should be heard.

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