The coming weeks promise to be interesting for the Akufo-Addo government, as well as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) with reports, picked up by The Herald that some of his 46 minister-designates, will have a tough time before the Appointment Committee of Parliament, where their suitability to once again serve in the government as Ministers and Regional Ministers, will be tested.
The likes of Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, Communication Minister-designate,e Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Mavis Hawa Koomsom, Railway Minister-designate John Peter Amewu, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs-designate, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Justice Minister-designate Godfred Yeboah-Dame, Energy minister-designate,e Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Women and Children Minister-designate, Sara Adwoa Safo and Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, have all had dossiers with respect to their previous ministerial jobs being prepared on them for their vetting.
While some of the issues making up the dossiers are said to be new, The Herald learnt that, others are already existing issues which they failed to properly respond to or the Presidency helped them to cover up during their first term in office by simply “clearing” them. Indeed, some NPP members feel that the President has set some of the Minister up to be rejected.
Insiders tell The Herald that many members of the NPP, have been left wondering why President Akufo-Addo, is risking a scenario where some of his appointees will embarrassingly be rejected by Parliament as a result of the many scandals hanging around their necks.
First on the list is Ken Ofori-Atta. He has been retained as the Finance Minister and expected to have the toughest vetting, as there is direct evidence linking him to several conflicts of interest situations in many loans and bonds contracted in the last four years. He had used his private company, Databank in many of the transactions.
Mr Ofori-Atta, will also have to account for the Agyapa/Asase Royalties deal, the involvement of yet again his company, his award of a contract to his cousin, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, without any competitive tendering.
He will have the opportunity to respond to the direct accusation from former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, whether he tried to influence the corruption risk assessment on the Agyapa royalties.
On the bill, is his roles in the Energy Sector, ownership of oil blocs, his $1 million contracts awarded electoral consultants, KRL International based in America, in June 2017, having played an active role in candidate Akufo-Addo’s campaign in 2016.
He is also expected to answer questions on his role in PDS which tried to take over management of the state-owned Electricity Company of Ghana. The printing of the new cedis notes – 100 and 200 by Bank of Ghana.
His role in the banking sector cleanup, the involvement of his private insurance company, Enterprise insurance in the management of state-owned vehicles among others will also be questioned.
Mr Ofori-Atta is also expected to be queried on his sacking of known and experienced civil servants, and their replacement with officials from his Databank.
While Agyapa had seen him usurping the role of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources then led by Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh in the management of the countries mineral resources and its royalties, the PDS, had seen him also hijacking the duties and responsibilities of the then Energy Minister John Peter Amewu.
Mavis Hawa Koomson, who pulled a gun and shot at a voter registration centre last year, while in the company of known NPP thugs from Bawku, will also for the first time publicly answer some questions on the incident. They were arrested but set free. The police officer who was in charge of the case was later transferred from the area.
Various calls by civil society organizations, Peace Council, the Christian Council and security experts on President Akufo-Addo to sack his minister, was also ignored by him. Interestingly, there was another shooting incident in the same constituency during the December 2020 election by men reported to be connected to her.
Additionally, Mavis will finally have to account for her stewardship at the Ministry of Special Initiatives with respect to the development authorities, the One Village One Dam programme, One district US$1 million per a constituency, the one ambulance per constituency programme, her outrageous price for a website among other procurement contracts including mechanized boreholes awarded by her.
Also on the raider of the Appointment Committee is Ursula Owusu, who has failed to dutifully account for her stewardship at Communications Ministry with respect to Kelni GVG, revocation of TV and radio licenses, COVID-19 tracker, the management of the Accra Digital Center, the many stealing of computers and corrupt deals at Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) led by Abraham Kofi Asante which she had promised to investigate but nothing came out.
Former Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, will have to account for Aker Energy, Ameri, Karpower…the beating of Bailiffs, his threats to kill some MPs in open court at the heated swearing-in ceremony of MPs on January 7, 2021, which was captured live on TV, the many deals at the Energy Ministry and the involvement of members of the President’s family, as well as his friends.
Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Former Procurement Minister, Adwoa Safo, who have been reshuffled will have some serious issues to respond to.
While Opoku Prempeh, will be responding to issues on Free SHS, Adwoa Sarfo will finally be speaking to the scandal which occurred at the public procurement authority, leading to the dismissal of the boss Agyenim Boateng Adjei by President Akufo-Addo.
The abrasive Godfred Dame, has also dislodged his boss, the cool-headed Gloria Akuffo as Akufo-Addo Attorney-General.
Gloria Akuffo, had shot down most of the deals which had the Akufo-Addo family involved by raising legal opinion which saved the country resources and key amongst them is the Agyapa/Asase Royalties deal.
Many have questioned the reasoning behind selecting her abrasive and hot-headed deputy, who is the toast of NPP social media operatives.
Yeboah-Dame, had written a damning legal opinion on the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Ghana’s wrongful liquidation of the Unibank in the banking sector cleanup, but later chickened out when faced with the report.
Charles McCarthy, an NPP activist took to his Facebook to write “Dear Gloria Afua Akuffo, You did not make it into the second term of Akufo-Addo’s government largely because you refused to sacrifice your professional integrity for political pragmatism. Take notice that the beauty of politics is serving the people.
“Your role in foiling the attempt to thwart the candidacy of John Agyekum Kufour in the issue of Concordia Ventures vs New Patriotic Party, NPP, is worth noting.
Your professional advice on PDS, and AMERI was timely. You placed the interest of Ghana over and above clannism when you said the Agyapa Royalties agreement was an attack on the Judiciary, and unconscionable. You are in the hearts of those whom you serve! Good name is better than agyapa royalties…”
The Member of Parliament for Anyaa-Sowutuom, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who has been reappointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs, will also be facing questions on the Oslo embassy scandal and the closure of many of the country’s bank account for non-compliance with EU regulations against money laundering among others.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs-designate, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, will also be made to respond to whether or not, he had responded to the name Lawrence Addae while in Secondary School at St Peter’s and what occasioned the change of name. Whether he was ever sacked from the school for unruly behaviour.
After weeks of speculations and projections, the President last week announced persons who will make up his government in the 2nd term as Ministers and Regional Ministers.
The list does not present any new as many of the Ministers who served in the first term, according to a release from the presidency Thursday, have been retained and in their various capacities.
Those sent home are Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Prof Frimpong-Boateng, Joe Ghartey, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, Gloria Akuffo, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, Hajia Alima Mahama, Samuel Atta Akyea, Cynthia Morrison, George Yaw Gyan-Baffour,
Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Kofi Dzamesi, Abubakar Boniface Siddique, Joseph Kofi Koddi Adda, Bryan Acheampong, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Catherine Afeku and Barbara Oteng Gyasi.
The likes of Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh and Elizabeth Afoley Quaye have issues ranging from the Kroll Associates, illegal Mining, family feuds and conflict of interests issues and well as premix fuel issues respectively against them, it is unclear, why some of them Kofi Dzamesi, Abubakar Boniface Siddique, Joseph Kofi Koddi Adda, Bryan Acheampong, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Catherine Afeku and Barbara Oteng Gyasi were sent home.