The National Democratic Congress (NDC) –minority caucus on the Appointments Committee of Parliament has declined to give approval to three of the persons nominated by President Akufo-Addo for ministerial positions, according to information reaching the media.
The three are rejected nominees are Mavis Hawa Koomson the nominee for the slot of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto nominee for the Minister of Agriculture and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah the nominee for the position of Information Minister.
But even before dust settles on the report, Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu has said the Committee lacks the authority to reject any nominee and that no individual member or caucus or even the entire Committee has such powers.
“We should not take out of here matters which have not been decided by the Committee and discussed as if they are the Committee’s decision. This Committee has no power to reject anybody. Our duty is to make recommendations to the House. The House may refuse or reject our recommendations. There is nothing going on here which is final. If we understand that, that will influence our discussion,” Joe Osei Owusu noted to the Committee Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, a statement supposedly from the Minority caucus on the Committee and titled: “SUMMARY OF REASONS FOR THE DECISIONS BY THE NDC CAUCUS ON THE APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE (MARCH 2021)”, has gone viral and had a huge media rotation since Monday with the Caucus yet to deny owning it.
The said statement gave reasons the three nominees were rejected:
Hawa Koomson (MP)
- The Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development could not provide convincing grounds for the shooting incident during the Voter Registration Exercise in Kasoa on 20th July, 2020 even though we acknowledge her belated apology for her recklessly dangerous conduct.
- b) Furthermore, claims of an ongoing investigation by the Police did not come across as credible considering that there has been no update from the police more than 8 months after the unfortunate incident. Our checks also point to the fact that she has not provided any statement to the police as at yet.
- c) The nominee confirmed the identity of closed associates who have unleashed a reign of terror on helpless political opponents in the pursuit of their narrow political ends.
- d) The Minister-designate displayed an alarmingly abysmal lack of knowledge on the sector she was nominated for, making her unfit for the portfolio and therefore untenable to secure the approval of members of the NDC caucus.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto
- a) The Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture was untruthful under oath to the Committee on the circumstances leading to the abrogation of the Fruit and Export Terminal Contract of 2015 by GPHA on his express instructions as contained in a letter dated 11th January, 2021.
- b) He was untruthful under oath about his directive ordering GPHA to issue a license to Fruit Terminal Company Ltd and how his actions could lead to a US$50million judgement debt.
- c) The nominee was grossly insincere with the Appointments Committee on his special relationship with the Director of AMG Company Limited, Mr. Ernest Appiah and the latter’s control of fertilizer contracts awarded by the Ministry.
- d) The Minister-designate was particularly discourteous, downright condescending and offensively arrogant in his appearance at the committee which is not the kind of attitude expected of public servants.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (MP)
a)The Minister-designate for Information was not the least candid with the committee on the multiple infractions of the law leading to the Bank of Ghana’s revocation of the license of Oval Microfinance – a company in which he was 83% majority shareholder.
b)He failed to admit ethical liability for the related party lending between Oval
Microfinance and West Brownstone which also belongs to him. He also denied outstanding obligations to Oval Microfinance despite the BoG’s examination report establishing the contrary.
- c) He peddled untruths under oath about the circumstances leading to investigative
Journalist Manasseh Azure relocating to South Africa with the assistance of the
Media Foundation for West Africa when the journalist faced threats to his life.
- d) The nominee was quite evasive on his association with MX24 TV which is owned and managed by his wife with other family members such as Kwabena Oppong Nkrumah serving as shareholder/Trustee for the parent company of MX24 TV known as Black Volta Publications Limited incorporated recently on the 4th of April, 2017 when the nominee was serving as Deputy Minister for Information.
None of the three persons has responded publicly to the statement.
It also said the Communication Minister nominee, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; Railway Minister nominee, John Peter Amewu; Roads Minister nominee, Kwasi Amoako-Attah; Attorney General and Minister of Justice nominee, Godfred Dame and Health Minister nominee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu have all been deferred pending their submission of further and better particulars.