Deputy Minister for Information and Media Relations Mohammed Ibrahim Murtala says calls by the minority for the President to set up a commission of inquiry into recent market fires is “useless.”
Minority MPs after three weeks of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, filed a motion in Parliament requesting a debate on the setting up of the commission of enquiry.
But the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Barton Odro amended the motion to allow a minister to brief the House on market fires, setting off wild controversy and accusations by the minority of a cover-up.
Minority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu challenged the authority of the speaker saying “we should know the limit of a Speaker, he cannot have unfettered rights to do as he pleases!” He said when presiding over deliberations on the floor of the House, the Speaker is not a Member of Parliament to decide what motion an MP could move.
The controversial motion was jointly filed by the MP for Okaikoi Central, Yaw Boamah and Shirley Ayorkor Botwe, MP for Anyaa Sowutuom.
They, therefore, withdrew their names from the motion maintaining that the amended motion was completely different from that which they filed.
Ms Botwe said although the Speaker had the power to amend motions under Order 79(4), she saw nothing wrong with the motion to warrant his amendment.
Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nutiwul speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story said the changes completely altered the original intention of MPs who filed it. He said if government had nothing to hide, then it should grant the motion.
He added that the President opened himself up for controversy after he allegedly said he suspected arsonist are behind the recent market fires.
But Murtala Mohammed, refuted Mr. Nitiwul’s claims, saying the president simply responded to a journalist’s question as to whether the fires could not be attributed to arsonists. Murtala said the president simply said he could not rule out anything.
He questioned the basis for the Minority’s claims that the Deputy Speaker was attempting a cover-up..
He said the call by the minority was “a very useless call”.
His reason was that the police service was already investigating the national menace. The deputy minister accused the opposition NPP of trying to undermine the “independence and intelligence” of the Police Service. He said it was typical of members of the NPP to bastardise state institutions whenever they are in opposition.
But the Deputy Minority Leader vowed that the minority would pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.
He revealed that they also want the President to set up another commission of inquiry into the arrest of a security chief a couple of months ago in the U.S for his alleged involvement in cocaine trafficking.