Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, says he is pleased with the decision of the Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on Censure to strike out Grounds One and Three from the list of seven allegations levelled against him.
The Minister made the remarks when he appeared before the Committee on Friday.
The Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on Censure was set-up by the Speaker to probe the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Caucus’ Motion calling for a vote of censure against the Finance Minister for alleged mismanagement of Ghana’s economy.
The decision of the Committee to exempt Mr Ofori-Atta from responding to Grounds One and Three of the Motion was announced by Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, the Co-Chairman of the Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on Censure and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga East.
Dr Ayine recalled that on Tuesday, November 15, during the Committee’s sitting, the Finance Minister and his counsel, Mr Gabby Asare Ochere-Darko, had raised objection to Ground One of the Motion.
Ground One of the Seven Grounds of the Minority Caucus’ Motion cites a case of conflict of interest that he (Mr Ofori-Atta) directly benefited from Ghana’s economic woes as his companies allegedly received commissions and other “unethical” contractual advantage, particularly from Ghana’s debt overhang.
The Co-Chairman said the Counsel had raised Constitutional issues concerning the grounds of conflict of interest in the motion of censure and that those issues were dealt with by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
Dr Ayine said Committee had, therefore, reached a decision that Mr Ofori-Atta be exempted from answering Ground One and that the Committee would be giving a writing ruling on it.
Touching on Ground Three – “alleged illegal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts in flagrant violation of Article 176 of the 1992 Constitution”-Dr Ayine said both the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) had both appeared before the Committee on Thursday, November 17, and gave their sides of the story.
He said after hearing from both Institutions, the Committee decided to also exempt the Minister from answering questions on Ground Three of the Motion.