Parliament has, by consensus, approved the second batch of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s deputy ministerial appointees who have duly been vetted by the Appointments Committee.
The approval of the 12 nominees came after the House had adopted the sixth report of the Appointments Committee submitted to the House.
That was not until the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, had announced the unanimous decision by the leadership of the committee to strick out the name of the Deputy Minister designate for Education, Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, from the report.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, did inform the House that the decision to take out the nominee’s name “on whom there is no approval from the report” was taken yesterday morning.
The House subsequently adopted the sixth report of the committee and approved the 12 out of the 14 names that were contained in the report.
Prior to the approval of the committee’s report yesterday, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, raised preliminary objection to the procedural motion moved by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee for the House to adopt the committee's report and approve the nominees.
He told the House that the report, as laid before the House, did not reflect the true votes cast by the members of the committee soon after vetting of the nominees.
He explained that a member of the committee, Mr Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, who is also the Member of Parliament for Tamale North, voted against the nomination of Mrs Twum-Ampofo but the report failed to capture such vote.
However, moving the motion for the House to adopt the committee’s report, Mr Osei-Owusu said before starting the vetting hearings, the candidates’ nominations were published in the newspaper of the national circulation and memoranda from the public.
“Mr Speaker, I put on record that the committee did not receive any petition or memoranda from the public as requested,” he said.
He, therefore, recommended to the House to approve the President’s deputy ministerial appointees.
Seconding the motion, the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, drew the House’s attention to names of Amidu Issahaku Chinnia and Ms Diana Asonaba Dapaah, who he claimed were vetted earlier last Friday.
In a bid to foster consensus building, he called for the committee’s report to be amended to exclude the names of the two nominees as agreed at the committee level, a suggestion the committee’s chairman concurred.
The nominees are Deputy Minister designate for Sanitation and Water Resources, Amidu Issahaku Chinnia and Deputy Attorney-General designate, Ms Diana Asonaba Dapaah.
The nominees are the Deputy Minister designate of Energy, Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer; the Deputy Minister designate of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour; the Deputy Minister designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr George Mireku Duker; the Deputy Minister designate for Defence, Mr Kofi Amankwah-Manu and the Deputy Minister designate for Interior, Naana Eyiah Quansah.
The rest are the Deputy Ministers designate for Transport, Hassan Sulemana Tampuli and Frederick Obeng Adom; the Deputy Minister designate for Finance, John Ampontua Kumah; the Deputy Minister designate for Roads and Highway, Mavis Nkansah-Boadu and the Deputy Minister designate for Youth and Sports, Mr Evans Opoku Bobie.
The others are the Deputy Minister designate for Food and Agriculture, Mohammed Hardi Tufeiru, and the Deputy Minister designate for Health, Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah.
Reasons for voting against Mrs Twum-Ampofo
Explaining reasons why he voted against Mrs Twum-Ampofo, Mr Suhuyini told the press outside Parliament that he found the answers the nominee provided during and after her vetting very unsatisfactory, especially the alleged bribery involving her.
“During and after her vetting I was left with the impression that this is a nominee who does not see anything wrong with what the CDD found out in relation to what she did during the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primaries in the Abuakwa North Constituency. This left a bitter taste in my mouth,” he said.