March 30, 2023
Member of Parliament MP for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

The first day of the hearing of the ad hoc committee set up by Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin to investigate a vote of censure against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was met with furious clashes between members of the committee as well as Ofori-Atta and his legal representation.

One of the clashes happened when the lawyer for Ofori-Atta, Gabby Otchere-Darko, suggested that the hearing was a waste of time for the finance minister, who should be preparing the country’s budget and concentrating on the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Gabby was pointing out that some of the documents needed for the hearing were missing, which will lead to some delay in the hearing.

“The list that has been provided does not include the Auditor General’s Report and this is the danger that we pointed out. If we are not careful there will be surprises at every turn of this proceedings.

“And as we sit here, the finance minister of the republic has the responsibility to be working on a budget, to be negotiating on an IMF programme that the whole country is waiting for. And if we stay here and spring surprises at every turn, it will be difficult for us,” Gabby said.

But these comments did not sit well with the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Ablakwa said that Gabby’s comments were denigrating because they meant that the work of the committee was not important.

“The Counsel to the finance minister has been speaking as though what is going on here is not important, but some of us take strong exception to that. This is an important constitutional assignment, very important to Parliament and the Ghanaian people.

“Such expressions are with all due respect very condescending. As though we are wasting their time,” he said.

The MP for Sekondi, Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, then jumped in to defend Gabby and said that there was nothing wrong with the statement he made.

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