Minority wants CHRAJ to investigate Ameri fact-finding committee

Minority wants CHRAJ to investigate Ameri fact-finding committee
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Abubakar Ibrahim
Date: 11-04-2017 Time: 11:04:14:pm

The Minority in Parliament has called on the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the committee that reviewed the Ameri power deal.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators do not understand why the committee's activities must be funded by Ameri, the same company it is investigating. 

Their call for investigation follows the admission by the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, earlier Monday that the Philip Addison Committee had sponsorship by way of hotel accommodation, airfare, food among others from the Ameri group.

Even though the Minister found the move regrettable, he did not think it compromised the work of the committee.

He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host, Kojo Yankson that the Minister told him after earlier communication with Ameri, the Dubai-based company said some facts needed could only be provided in Dubai.

“The minister told them, we are not going to come to Dubai on our purse...in my view, that was an anomaly on the part of the minister,” he said.

Regarding the objectivity of the conclusion from the investigations; Mr Hamid said, “If the investigations were done to perhaps whitewashed and Ameri was absolved of all wrongdoing, then maybe one can question the work they did.”

However, Mr Ato Forson who is also the ranking member on parliament’s finance committee doubts the committee's work was not influenced in any way. 

He told Evans Mensah of Joy FM's Newsnight programme that the minority is reliably informed that not only were some of the members flown on first and second class tickets, but they were "accommodated in first class hotels."

"And paid per diems to the extent that some monies were given to the participants for the purpose of their shopping," he added. 

The Member of Parliament said they would assess how material the amount given to members was, the role it played in their work and whether they make any disclosure to that effect to Ghanaians.

"If no disclosure was made to the people of this country and they are only waiting for the minority to say some payments were made to them, then that is a serious matter," he said.

He recounted the 2013 Election Petition case in which an accounting and auditing firm KPMG were called in to independently audit and verify the claims of the then minority New Patriotic Party (NPP). 

Mr Forson said because the company wanted to help the country and keep their neutrality and professionalism in the matter, they did not charge the nation any fees. 

"The principles are clear and this standard [of being independent of people being investigated] does not exist anywhere in this world. It is a news standard set by this administration and we find it bizarre.

"The Information Minister was not even forthright with Ghanaians with his 'I think, I think' what is he telling Ghanaians?" he quizzed adding it was only an attempt to extort money from the Ameri group.

The former deputy Minister wants answers from government for not wanting to invest when it knows that it is seeking answers about the deal to save the country money. 

He said their report did not mention the fact that the committee was sponsored by the Ameri group cannot be accepted. 

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