Finance Minister Faces NDC MPs ‘Trial’

Ken Ofori-Atta


FINANCE MINISTER Ken Ofori-Atta will be investigated by an ad-hoc committee of Parliament over a motion by the NDC Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) to censure him and revoke his instrument of office.

Speaker of the House, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, ruled that an eight-member cross-party committee, made up of four MPs from each of the caucuses will launch an inquiry to the issues levelled against the minister and report back to the House for consideration.

The committee will be co-chaired by NPP MP for Adansi-Asokwa, K.T. Hammond, and NDC MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine.

Other members of the committee are Patrick Boamah (NPP Okaikoi Central), Andrew Egyapa Mercer (NPP Sekondi), Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi (NPP Asante-Akim Central), Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings (NDC Korle Klottey), Samuel Ablakwa (NDC North Tongu) and Bernard Ahiafor (Akatsi South).

The Speaker explained that the committee would afford the minister the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations, noting, “And what our colleague (referring to the Minority Leader, who moved the motion) said cannot constitute evidence.”

“The evidence will be placed before the committee. The minister will have the opportunity to defend himself and a report will be presented to the House, and we will debate that report,” he stated and added that the committee has seven working days to deal with the case.



Before the motion could be seconded, the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, raised a preliminary objection, arguing among others that the Finance Minister needed an opportunity to be heard.

He quoted copiously from the constitution in reference to censure of the Minister of State as well as the impeachment of the President, Vice President, the Speaker and Deputy Speakers and the procedures thereof to be followed as parity of argument to buttress his point.

For him, at a committee level, the minister will get ample opportunity to defend himself, while the applicants will have their days to present their evidence.

The Speaker, in ruling on the matter, said, “Don’t forget in our Standing Orders they say that the minister can appear before the House with counsel. A counsel cannot appear on the floor of the House.

“It has to be at the level of a committee and that is why under the Standing Orders, Standing Order 106 (1) ‘The House may pass a resolution to remove the President, the Vice President, Mr. Speaker and Deputy Speakers and a vote of censure on a Minister of State’,” he intimated.

He explained, “The House may consider such a motion and come to a decision or refer it to a committee on the motion made by any member. And that is why I am referring to a committee because the minister is entitled to appear with counsel.”



Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu moved the motion of censure over the leadership of Ken Ofori-Atta as Finance Minister, arguing that Mr. Ofori-Atta should be made to account for his “poor performance” with the economy.

The motion, filed on behalf of the NDC MPs by the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, requested the House to pass a vote of censure on the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, in accordance with Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution.



According to the NDC MPs, the Finance Minister is in “despicable conflict of interest” for allegedly and directly benefiting from Ghana’s economic woes as “his companies receive commissions and other unethical contractual advantage, particularly from Ghana’s debt overhang.”

“Unconstitutional withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund in blatant contravention of Article 178 of the 1992 Constitution supposedly for the construction of the President’s Cathedral; legal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts in flagrant violation of Article 176 of the 1992 Constitution; and deliberate and dishonest misreporting of economic data to Parliament,” the motion noted.

The NDC MPs are also accusing the Finance Minister of “fiscal recklessness leading to the crash of the Ghana Cedi, which is currently the worst performing currency in the world; and alarming incompetence and frightening ineptitude resulting in the collapse of the Ghanaian economy and an excruciating cost of living crisis.”


BY Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House