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General News of Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Vetting of ministerial appointees timetable out

Appointments committee of parliament is set to screen the first batch Appointments committee of parliament is set to screen the first batch

The Appointments Committee of Parliament is set to screen the first batch of ministerial nominees on Friday,January 20.

The committee, chaired by First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, will screen Senior Minister-designate Yaw Osafo Marfo, National Security Minister-designate Albert Kan-Dapaah, Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta and Defence Minister-designate Dominic Nitiwul on the first day.

Attorney-General & Justice Minister-designate Gloria Akufo and Minister-designate for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, will also take their turn the next day.

On Monday, 23 January, the Committee will have the chance to screen Minister-designate of Local Government & Rural Development Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister-designate of Trade and Industry Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Minister-designate of Agriculture Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto and Minister-designate of Energy, Boakye Agyarko.

Minister-designate of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway; Minister-designate of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh; and Minister-designate for Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu will take their turn on Tuesday, 24 January 2017.
The Committee is, therefore, requesting for written memoranda on the nominees from the general public. The memoranda should reach parliament not later than Thursday, 19 January 2017.

Ahead of the vetting, pressure group Truth and Accountable Governance (TAG) has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to drop Catherine Afeku as Minister-designate of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts over an alleged fraud case against her.

The convener of the group, Sirr Abdalah, in a statement said: “Mrs Afeku and her husband, Mr Seth Afeku, were found guilty for defrauding an American couple on 19-10-2013 by an Accra High Court presided over by Her [Ladyship] Barbara Ackah-Yensu.

The trial judge directed the MP for Evalue-Gwira constituency and her husband to pay an amount of $217,464 plus 50 per cent interest to the plaintiff, Patricia and Bill Gick.”

In a follow-up interview on Accra News on Monday, 16 January, he said for this reason, Mr Akufo-Addo should, as a matter of urgency, drop her as part of his fight against corruption. He said: “We want to make sure that our public servants are credible, without blemish, and are people who can protect our purse.

This woman was declared a fraudster and so she should not be appointed as a minister. She has violated a court order and so should not be given any ministerial appointment.

“We all know the tourism sector needs huge investment, but how can investment come if a fraudster is heading that ministry? We will write to the Appointments Committee of parliament to ensure that she does not sail through,’ it warned.