$100K Saga: ‘Publish Emergency Sitting Cost’
Civil society group, Parliamentary News Africa (PNAfrica), has called on the leadership of Ghana’s parliament, to publish the cost of the emergency sitting of Members of Parliament to consider a motion filed by the Minority in respect of the $100,000 allegedly charged expatriate businessmen who sat close to the president during an awards ceremony last year.
According the group, per best practices in most democracies the cost of such sittings should be known by the taxpayer, a situation that makes it mandatory for the leadership of the legislature in Ghana to make public the cost of that sitting.
The Speaker of parliament Professor Mike Ocquaye, after receiving a motion from Majority Chief and Member of Parliament for Asawase, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak recalled the MPs from recess for deliberations on Friday January 5.
After the emergency sitting characterised by a heated arguments from both the Minority and the Majority, the Speaker set up a five-member ad hoc committee to investigate the $100,000 allegedly charged the businessmen by the Trade Ministry.
The committee is chaired by Member of Parliament for Sunyani East, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh. The other members are Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, an Economist and Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, MP for Adentan, Member of Parliament for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi and Dominic Ayine, MP for Bolgatanga East.
The committee is expected to submit its report to the Speaker on 24 January 2018.
A statement A statement signed by Sammy Obeng, Executive Director for PNAfrica, said , among other things that : “We call on the Parliamentary services – with the Rt Hon Ocquaye as the Chairman of its Board; and the Clerk of Parliament as the administrative head of Ghana’s legislature, to make the cost of this emergency recall and previous emergency recalls.
“Transparency and accountability cannot be over emphasized in good governance and democracy. Ghana’s parliament has over the years exercised its mandatory rule over pressing issues through the process of emergency recalls and it is about time the taxpayer knows how much such processes cost us.
“Parliaments in many countries of the world have been proactive to announce to the public how much such exercises have cost, but this has not been so in the many emergency recalls we have witnessed in Ghana.”