Confusion has hit the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament, over its attempt to impeach the President, John Dramani Mahama, on the discredited Ford car gift story.
While, the NPP MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, claims the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adzaho, has summoned the legislators to the House to commence investigations into circumstances surrounding the car gift to President Mahama, his boss, the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has denied knowledge of any impeachment proceedings at the instance of his side.
Meanwhile, the President’s Advisor on Governance and Corruption Daniel Batidam, has denied granting any interview to Joy Fm’s Manasseh Azure Awuni on President Mahama’s ford expedition gift received from Djibril Kanazoe.
“You can quote me and play it anywhere…I did not grant any interview to the journalist on the ford expedition gift”, Mr. Batidam said.
Following reports that Mr. Adjaho, has summoned MPs from recess for a one week sitting beginning Thursday, September 1, there have been claims that the Minority, requested the summons in order to initiate impeachment processes against President Mahama.
The claims were given life on The Big Issue by Mr. Agyarko, who was quoted as saying, “we have asked Mr. Speaker to call back the house… we would want to raise the issue of the gift from Kanazoe to his Excellency the President on the floor of Parliament.”
However, the Minority Leader, told the host of Politicos on Citi TV, Umaru Sanda Amadu, that he had not received any formal communication about the reason for the summons.
“When I heard from the grapevine that Parliament was being summoned, I was taken a bit aback, especially when there had not been any prior consultations or discussions on the issue with my humble self. Be that as it may, I had to come down,” he said
“I came cruising down to Ghana to prepare myself and prepare my colleagues and position ourselves adequately for the discussions of the proposal on Thursday as being programmed. I still have no formal communication to me on that.”
The Minority in Parliament, has already hinted of a possible impeachment process against President Mahama, for accepting the Ford Expedition gift from the Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.
There were reports that, the Minority, had started collecting signatures of MPs in order to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Mahama.
Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, downplayed this, stating that the Minority was pushing for an appraisal of the Ford saga and had not, as yet, considered starting impeachment processes.
“At this stage, nobody is talking about impeachment. It’s a process that we want to start to investigate the conduct of the president and if there are any issues that are found to be untoward, we would interrogate same,” he said.
“As far as I’m concerned, the purpose for doing this is to broaden the horizon of our democratic governance. It’s not meant to humiliate anybody or to score political points.”
The Second Deputy Majority Chief Whip and MP for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim, has suggested that the Minority leader’s lack of knowledge about the summons was an indication of a rift within the opposition MPs.
“Out of the 122 members on the minority side, only 18 members didn’t sign the motion. No single member from the majority side signed. I would be highly surprised if the Minority leader is saying he’s not privy to why the House is not being summoned. I would say that it’s a parliamentary coup d’etat.”
He suggested that the motion against the President might not have been backed by all members of the Minority and that certain persons were pushing for the action,” Ahmed Ibrahim told Umaru Sanda.
“The Minority side of Parliament is not intact and therefore some of us are suspecting that there may be some personalities there who may want to do what is happening. If a Minority leader, who is the leader of the side, is not privy to what his people have done, then it’s a constitutional coup on their side,” he added.
The President’s Advisor on Governance and Corruption, has been quoted as saying ““the motivation for a gift is even more important than the quantum.
And so I think it goes without saying that you cannot take gifts from sources that have the potential of influencing your decision making. It’s not acceptable. I think a responsible leader, minister [or] senior public servant would not need to be advised on that”
But speaking on the Ultimate Breakfast Show, Mr. Batidam, disclosed that Manasseh only booked an interview with him to speak on conflict of interest involving public officers and nothing in relation to the Ford gift.
According to him, Manasseh, pieced together his voice to make it look like he explicitly spoke to him on the infamous ford gift when in actual fact, it was on a different subject matter.
Commenting on plans by the minority in parliament to impeach the president, he disclosed on the Ultimate Breakfast Show hosted by Lantam Papanko that it is needless for such an exercise, insisting the president has not flouted any law.
A summon by the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho directed MPs to return to the house on Thursday, September 1, but fell short of disclosing the agenda for the sitting.
However, Article 112 (3) of the Constitution says if 15 percent of MPs sign a petition, parliament must sit to consider it. The current parliament has 275 MPs with 148 (National Democratic Congress), 121 (New Patriotic Party), 3 (Independent), 1 (Convention People’s Party) and 1(People’s National Convention).