President John Mahama is unperturbed by moves by the minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in parliament to get him investigated over a Ford gift, the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) 2016 campaign spokesperson Joyce Bawa Mogtari has revealed.
Parliament yesterday [Thursday] sat to consider a motion brought to it by its Minority members aimed at causing an investigation into the conduct of Mahama regarding his acceptance of a Ford gift from a Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.
Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azuri Awuni, reported a few months ago Mr. Kanazoe dashed Mahama a Ford vehicle with engine number E173A1905101 and Chassis number 1FMJUIJ58aEB748 in 2012. He was also awarded two contracts, which include the fencing of the Ghana Embassy Wall in Burkina Faso at a cost of $650,000 and also the construction of part of the Eastern Corridor Road Project.
The presidency at the time of publication of the report admitted that Mahama received the said vehicle from Mr. Kanazoe but repudiated any suggestion of corruption.
Following this report, the minority led by their leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu filed a motion in parliament demanding a committee be set up to probe the controversial ford gift given to the president.
The speaker of parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, thus recalled members of the House based on the minority’s petition to debate the motion yesterday [Thursday].
The move by the Minority, according to Mrs. Mogtari, was nothing but a ploy to divert Mahama’s attention, saying these “are all basically, diversionary tactics” and that the president “expects all these to come out.”
Speaking on Class FM on Friday, she added: “Like anybody else president Mahama looks forward to this interesting exercise.”
She said Mahama is the embodiment of democracy in this country and that if anyone has any evidence to suggest he [Mahama] has been compromised that person should provide the nation with the truth.
The Speaker of Parliament Thursday dismissed the Minority’s moves to cause investigations into the Ford Saga. According to him the only body to probe issues of conflict of interest is the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
Addressing the House, he said the Supreme Court made a number of pronouncements regarding the exclusive jurisdiction in terms of chapter 24 of the constitution dealing with code of conducts of public officers including the president and based on Justice Brobby’s ruling, article 287 mandates that complains under chapter 24 of the constitution are to be investigated “exclusively” by CHRAJ.
As a result, he stressed with emphasis the House is bound by the interpretation put on the constitution by the Supreme Court and that “it is my view therefore, that the CHRAJ is the institution vested with the exclusively constitutional authority” to deal with matters relating to breach of code of conduct by public officers including the president when it comes to the receipt of the ford vehicle.
“As speaker of this House, I am of a firm conviction that constitutional bodies must respect each other in the performance of their duties in order to avoid role conflicts,” he said.
Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu described the speaker’s stance as capricious and an injustice. The Minority thus vowed to petition the Chief Justice.
“The matter does not end here at all. If they will not permit the House to investigate it, we will file the process with the same evidence we would have put before Members of Parliament before the Chief Justice and her team and then they will investigate it,” said the ranking member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu.