Five Ministerial Nominees To Reappear Before Appointments Committee

Five persons nominated for various Ministries by President Akufo-Addo are to reappear before the Appointments Committee after their first vetting.

They are Communication Minister Nominee, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; Railway Minister Nominee, John Peter Amewu; Roads Minister-designate, Kwasi Amoako-Attah; Attorney General and Minister of Justice nominee, Godfred Dame and Health Minister Nominee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.

The Minority side in Parliament, which unanimously rejected three others – Information, Fisheries and Food and Agricultural Ministers-designate – says there are grey areas in the answers that the five provided to the Committee during their appearances.

Besides, some of the Ministers have petitions from the general public against them.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is notorious for her high-handed closure of radio stations perceived to be pro-NDC in her first tenure. 

During her first appearance, she denied having anything to do with the closures, even though in 2019, when the closures happened, the Committee on Communications had lamented that Ursula-Owusu had refused to be amicable after meetings with her.

Madam Owusu-Ekuful has also been accused of corruption in her handling of the Kelni GVG contract, which abrogated an existing contract to police a common platform for the various telecoms companies in the country for tax purposes.

Controversially elected MP for Hohoe who has also been nominated for the Railways Ministry is being hampered by the PDS scandal, in which a group of ruling party apparatchiks, tried to use the backdoor to take ownership of the assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana.

When Amewu appeared for vetting the first time, he took responsibility for the deal because he was the Energy Minister at the time, but claimed he had nothing to do with the scandal.

As part of the Hohoe Parliamentary election that controversially led to his election as MP, his opponent, Prof. Margaret Kwaku, had gone to court and secured an injunction against Amewu. When a bailiff went to serve him, his personal thugs pounced on the bailiff and beat him up, preventing him from serving Amewu.

He claims that he was not around at the time of the beatings and that he had found out a week later.

For Roads and Highways Minister-designate, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, his approval of a $570 million motorway expansion project is the bane of his fate before the Committee.

For Attorney General and Minister of Justice-designate, Godfred Yeboah Dame, a petition against him from the family of Gregory Afoko who was denied bail even after a court had granted it to him, is a hurdle.

He was also a Member of the Board of the Public Procurement Authority where Adjenim Boateng Adjei, then head of the PPA had used his position to award state contracts to himself.

When Dame appeared before the Appointments Committee, he threw Adjenim Boateng Adjei under the bus. However, the Minority thought him not very truthful with his answers.

Health Minister-Designate, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu will also reappear before the Committee to answer more questions on the Frontiers KIA COVID-19 testing contract.

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