Linda Akrasi Kotey
The member of Parliament (MP) for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Mr. Paul Collins Appiah Ofori, says his non-inclusion in any of the select committees of the House was a deliberate attempt by the Minority leadership to get him out of Parliament.
In an interview with The Chronicle, the outspoken legislator stated that he was not surprised when he realised that his name had been omitted from the new list of the membership of committees of the house.
According to him, when he realised this anomaly, he drew the attention of the Minority Chief Whip, Frederick Opare Ansah, to the fact that it was a provision in the Standing Orders of the house to include every member in at least one of the committees. He claimed he was being punished for exposing their colleagues who allegedly took $5,000 bribe from the then government to approve the sale of Ghana Telecom.
According to him, the location of his seat as a senior member of the house showed that they were sidelining him.
“I was a member of the Finance, Roads and Transport committees, but I was removed,” he noted.
The House was unable to adopt the report of the committee on the selection on the changes of the membership of the committees, which was moved by the Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka, due mainly, to the absence of Appia Ofori’s name from the committees.
The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, said the Chief Whip was in charge of the recomposition, as such, he needed to liaise with him to find out why this anomaly occurred, and make the necessary changes, and pleaded that the motion be deferred to a later date.
The committee, in its report, stated that the recomposition became necessary as a result of the recent ministerial reshuffle undertaken by the President, and new members that had joined the house after the unfortunate death of some members.
The report mentioned that there were some challenges with the method used in the allocation of members of the various committees in the House. Whereas some members serve on more than three committees, others serve on only one.
The names of some members were omitted altogether, contrary to article 103(4) of the constitution, and standing order 153 of the Standing Orders of the House.