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General News of Thursday, 24 February 2022


Ato Forson to file another motion seeking to probe COVID-19 expenditure

Cassiel Ato Forson Cassiel Ato Forson

Ato Forson to file another motion to probe COVID-19 expenditure

His first motion was thrown out of Parliament by Joe Wise

Joe Wise explained Ken Ofori-Atta had already accounted for it

Cassiel Ato Forson, Ranking Member, Finance Committee in Parliament, has hinted that he will for the second time, file another motion seeking the constitution of a bipartisan committee to probe the government’s COVID-19 expenditure.

The Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP's previous motion was dismissed by First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu [Joe Wise] after it had been admitted by Speaker Alban Bagbin.

Joe Wise's argument is that, the motion ought not to have been admitted in the first place by Speaker Bagbin because the Finance Minister had already accounted for the COVID-19 expenditure.

But, on Wednesday, February 23, Speaker Babgin described Joseph Osei-Owusu’s ruling as unconstitutional, illegal and offensive.

He decried what he said was a penchant on the part of the First Deputy Speaker to overturn his ruling.

Speaking on Joy FM's 'Top Story', Cassiel Ato Forson said he will re-file the motion before the House on Thursday, February 24.

“I hope to have a meeting with the leadership of the Minority Caucus tomorrow [Thursday] morning and if all is well, tomorrow I will be able to file the motion again. I think I have various options, probably I may also decide to challenge the Speaker’s ruling,” he explained.

He noted, the bipartisan probe is necessary due to what he describes as an ‘outrageous’ expenditure by the government on COVID-19.

“In fact, if you sit in committee meetings in Parliament, most Sector Ministers that this money went to, anytime you are interrogating the matter, they tell you that the amount that they claim was given to them, the entire amount was not given to them so clearly Parliament does not have a handle on the very expenditure that was sent to us in economic difficulties,” he stated.

Ato Forson's decision is to ensure accountability and oversight of the public purse.

“What I’m saying is that the amount of GH₵10 billion is too much…I believe that time has come for us to sit down and interrogate the matter for us to understand how this money was spent and make some proposals and possible legislation so that we can regulate this going forward,” he stressed.