General News of Monday, 25 September 2017
Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, could be forced out of his job if he is found guilty of lying to Parliament under oath.
The Chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), James Klutse Avedzi, revealed last week that the Committee has begun an official probe into the Minister’s claim which he made on August 10, 2017, that the Komenda Sugar Factory has never produced sugar.
A former member and Secretary of the Komenda Sugar Project Management Board, Ransford Chatman Vanni-Amoah, has challenged the claim, accusing the Mr Ahomka-Lindsay of deceiving the august House.
Mr. Vanni-Amoah subsequently petitioned PAC about the Deputy Minister’s allegations, providing evidence in a bid to refute the scalding claims.
“I am saying that he has committed perjury because he swore an oath and lied to the Committee,” Mr. Vanni-Amoah told Joy News.
He said Standing Orders 30 of Parliament clearly states lying under oath as constituting a breach of privileges or Contempt of Parliament.
PAC Chair, Mr Avedzi, has said the Committee takes the petition very seriously and will make its findings known shortly.
“The petitioner says that the information given by the Deputy Minister to the Committee, that sugar was not produced through the Komenda Sugar Factory was false. According to the Minister semi-finished product was imported and then put into the process, the petitioner is saying that that is not the truth.
“If it is found that it [petitioner’s challenge] is true and he [Ahomka-Lindsay] admits that what he said was not true, we will give him the opportunity to apologise, and if he refuses to apologise then we will refer the matter to the entire House because it amounts to perjury and he can easily lose his seat,” Mr Avedzi explained.
The Komenda Sugar Factory was built by Ghana's first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but was revived by the John Mahama administration in 2014 at the cost of $35 million to end the importation of $200 million of sugar annually.
The state-owned factory is expected to produce 150,000 metric tonnes of sugar per year and 1.0MW surplus power from factory waste.