Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of horse-trading the approval and passage of his ministerial nominees by the Minority side of Parliament’s Appointments Committee and the plenary, with the dropping of criminal charges against some Minority MPs who were accused of taking double salaries.
According to Mr Amidu, this horse-trading was led by “one of the former Ministers of Finance of the NDC, on behalf of this government, which resulted in the NDC party outside Parliament, instructing the NDC in Parliament to approve all the ministerial nominees of the government, including the minister who was yet to supply further and better particulars to the Appointments Committee for consideration before his approval or disapproval by the Committee and Parliament.”
This compromising agreement, according to Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor, led to some NDC contractors being paid for the first time, for work done prior to 7 January 2017 before the ministerial approvals were made as a show of good faith to the NDC.
Mr Amidu noted that his informants and agents within the Executive arm of government and the Minority Caucus, are certain that “the MPs’ double salary cases and other pending criminal cases involving some NDC Members of Parliament, formed part of the negotiation and compromises that paved the way for the resolution of the ministerial approval impasse with the NDC in Parliament.”
Mr Amidu said, as part of the agreed compromise, the second batch of NDC contractors have submitted their request to the appropriate quarters, through a representative of the NDC in Parliament, who is to facilitate payments.
It is recalled that some members of the NDC and their supporters were unhappy some ministerial nominees of President Akufo-Addo like Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, then-minister-designate of Information; Hawa Koomson, then-minister-designate of Fisheries and Aquaculture; and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, then-minister-designate of Food and Agriculture, were approved and the NDC lawmakers could do nothing to block them.
The National Communication Officer of the NDC, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, angrily called for a change in the leadership of the party in Parliament after the passage of the nominees.
Mr Gyamfi accused the Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin; Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu and Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak, of failing the party.
He said these leaders “brazenly defied the leadership of the party and betrayed the collective good for their selfish interest. And we, must not let them succeed in their parochial quest to destroy the NDC, the party that has done so much for them and all of us. The shame they have brought on the party will forever hang like an albatross around their necks.”
Mr Gyamfi, in a statement on Facebook, noted that it is time for members of the party “to insist on the right changes in the leadership of the NDC group in Parliament or forget about them completely.”
He reiterated that the current leadership have lost their moral authority to lead and are not fit to sit on the front bench of the NDC side of the house.
A member of the Appointments Committee on the NDC’s side, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, subsequently resigned.
According to the opposition lawmaker, his resignation, as contained in a letter dated Tuesday, 30 March 2021, addressed to the Speaker, Mr Alban Kingsford Bagbin, was “after days of careful reflection and thoughtful considerations”.