March 19, 2023
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The Parliamentary ad hoc committee probing a vote of censure motion brought by the Minority Caucus against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta concluded their public hearings on Friday, November 18.

The eight-member committee was co-chaired by KT Hammond and Dominic Ayine with three members apiece from the Majority and Minority Caucuses.

One of the critiques of the committee’s composition is that it had an even number of members and two chairs which meant that decisions could mostly be split in the middle.

That situation did play out a number of times during their sitting as blocs voted en bloc on issues.

Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading GUIDE newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako is predicting that the committee could potentially end up with two separate reports.

He observed in a Facebook comment that it would not be the first time such a scenario would play out if it so happens.

“They may end up issuing two seperate reports akin to what happened in the “Cash For Seats” Probe! Watch this space!” baako wrote.

He was commenting on a pro-New Patriotic Party activist’s post about how the November 18 hearing which had the Finance Minister appearing to answer questions on the allegations brought against him.

The cash for seat controversy

In February 2018, a special ad hoc parliamentary committee was set up to probe ‘Cash for Seat’ allegations leveled against officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The five-member committee, headed by the then majority chief whip, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, had consistently asked for more time to compile an elaborate report after its public hearing had ended on January 24, 2018.

However, the laying of the report was not without controversy, as the minority members on the committee said their views were not captured in the report.

Eventually the Majority side officially presented their report (which cleared officials of any wrongdoing). It was, however, rejected by the Minority, who later published their own report from the hearings.

The minority chief whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, had filed an urgent motion asking the house to probe the ‘Cash for Seat’ allegation against some officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the Millennium Excellence Foundation.

The officials were accused of collecting between $15,000 and $100,000 from expatriate business people to sit on the presidential table during the Ghana Expatriate Awards night on December 4, 2017.

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