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Parliament Resumes Sitting After Christmas Break


Members of the country’s legislature today [Tuesday] January, 23, 2018, returned to the House as Parliament resumed sitting after the Christmas break.

The first meeting of the second session of Parliament is being chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu, because the Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, is currently serving as acting President due to the absence of both the President and the Vice President.

The House was recalled for an emergency session earlier in January after the Minority wrote to the Speaker urging him to call for the sitting to consider their motion on the alleged ‘cash for seat’ scandal.

MPs returned to the House again on Sunday, as Prof Oquaye was sworn in as Acting President by Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo.

However, this is the first normal sitting of the House since they went on recess for the Christmas holidays.

Citi News reported that the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in his statement, called on Parliament to summon the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, to answer questions on the recent jailbreak at Kwabenya which resulted in the death of one policeman.

He added that the Police Command, led by the Inspector General Commander (IGP), was currently locked in a meeting with the Interior and Defence Committee of Parliament over that issue “and other related matters with regards to security in general in the country.”

The Tamale South MP also demanded that government gives clear indications on whether or not they would extend the stay of the former Guantanamo Bay detainees.

President Akufo-Addo had indicated at last week’s Media Encounter that the two former Gitmo detainees would learn their fate when the House reconvenes.

Duke Mensah Opoku also reported that, the vetting of Special Prosecutor-nominee Martin Amidu “is part of the programme of activities that will be laid out in this session of the House” along with a report from the Committee considering a motion for rescission of the AMERI deal.

“Later on, in this session of the House, we’re expecting that President [Nana Akufo-Addo] will come and deliver his State of The Nation address to the people’s representatives. With regards to the exact time that these programmes will be held, we aren’t quite sure, but we know it will be in this session of Parliament,” Duke added.

‘Meet the deadline’

The bi-partisan Committee probing the alleged extortion of expatriates during the 2017 Ghana Expatriate Business Awards, is also expected to present its report on Wednesday, which was the deadline set by Parliament when the Committee was formed.

The acting Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu, asked the ad-hoc Committee to ensure that they meet the deadline and submit their report accordingly.

“As you know, our mandate of scrutinizing government business and holding public officials to account gained a lot of public interest till the ad-hoc committee was setup to investigate the alleged collection of various sums of monies from expatriates business during the Expatriates Business Awards in Accra. I suppose that substantial work has been done by the Committee to meet the deadline given by Mr. Speaker to enable the House consider the report during this week,” he added.

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