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General News of Sunday, 26 August 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Blows Over Woyome

Confusion is brewing among the leadership of Parliament over the threat by Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Albert Kan Dapaah to cause the arrest of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

Mr. Kan Dapaah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Afigya Sekyere West, on Thursday threatened to cause the arrest of Mr. Woyome, a self-acclaimed financier of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), over the latter’s decision not to appear before the Committee to answer questions on his fraudulent pocketing of GH¢51.2million from the state as judgment debt.

Mr. Woyome had failed to honour two invitations extended to him by the Committee, arguing that the case was in court- a situation that compelled Chairman of the Committee to indicate his preparedness to cause the police to produce him before them.

A day after Chairman of the Committee issued the threat, MP for Ave-Avenor and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho jumped to the rescue of Woyome, a man he enjoys a close association with.

It would be recalled that Woyome recently raised Adjaho’s hand to declare him the parliamentary candidate of the ruling NDC in the Ave-Avenor constituency.

Mr. Adjaho, who spoke to Joy FM, arrogated to himself the power of the Speaker in the absence of the substantive Speaker Justice Joyce Bamford Addo, insisting that Kan Dapaah erred by not informing him as acting Speaker, as the standing orders of the House prescribed.

But Kan Dapaah indicated that his threat to cause the IGP to produce Mr. Woyome before the PAC did not mean due processes would not be followed, saying, “I have no right to order the IGP to bring him. I have to go through the Speaker.”

In that regard, the Chairman of the Committee said Mr Adjaho did not help himself by commenting on issues that did not concern him, asking rhetorically, “If Madam Speaker decides not to invite the IGP to bring Mr Woyome, will I be right to assume that it was because of pressure from Hon Doe Adjaho?”

Should the Speaker of Parliament decline any such request for Woyome’s arrest, Mr Dapaah said, “I will take it from there and decide the best course of action from me personally.”

That notwithstanding, he said, “I cannot imagine why she would not do that apart from pressure from Hon Doe Adjaho.”

His colleague Minority Leader and MP for Suame, Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu also criticised Mr Adjaho for jumping into the fray.

Adjaho’s Rigmarole

Mr Adjaho, who according to sources, has strong links with Woyome, jumped to his rescue, claiming that his colleague Chairman of the PAC had no right to issue any such order for the arrest of the NDC financier even though he had not issued any instructions to that effect.

This raised eyebrows as to why Mr Adjaho would wade into the affair by drawing what had been described as a hasty conclusion, which was also seen as an attempt to save Woyome from the grilling hands of the PAC members who have the responsibility to investigate matters pertaining to the Auditor General’s report before them.

It would be recalled that it was Mr Woyome who declared Mr Adjaho, the five-time MP for Ave-Avenor, as the NDC Parliamentary candidate for the area in the upcoming elections, a declaration which is being contested in court.

An Accra-based lawyer and member of the NDC, Evans Gadeto Djikunu, who attempted to run for the position, has dragged Adjaho, the NDC party and others including the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, to court for allegedly mis-conducting the primary to elect a candidate to represent the people.