Gabby challenges committee probing censure motion against Ofori-Atta

16th November 2022

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, counsel for Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the parliamentary public hearing of a vote of censure against the Minister, has challenged the authority of the ad-hoc committee probing allegations of conflict of interest against his client.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin set up an eight-member ad-hoc committee to probe claims of conflict of interest, financial recklessness, gross mismanagement of the economy among others as the basis for a censure motion against the Finance Minister by the Minority in Parliament.

Speaking at the committee sitting on Tuesday, Gabby Otchere-Darko, also a private legal practitioner and a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said such a probe is the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

“Our issue is that, if you go to Article 284 of the Constitution, it says that, a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the function of his office.”

“If you combine that with Article 287 which says an allegation which contravenes or not complied with this chapter shall be made to CHRAJ. The relevant part is that, when a public officer is to face a charge or allegation or any ground of conflict of interest, it is CHRAJ that the constitution says must deal with it”, Gabby added.

Defending the jurisdictional powers and mandate of the ad-hoc committee, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said counsel for the Minister was conflicting with the hearing and enquiring mandate of such ad-hoc committees because his understanding of Article 287 differs from what the counsel inferred.

“This Committee is not only to hear [the allegations], it also has the power to do a further inquiry into all Government borrowing; who got what, when, and how? All the domestic bonds we have done, for instance, the Euro Bond, who got what? We must be interested in whether our inquiry, engendered a conflict of interest or not.”

Written by Web Master

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