General News of Monday, 28 January 2019
The Chairman of Parliament’s Interior and Defence Committee, Seth Acheampong, has said his committee receives periodic briefings from the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah on the state of security in the country.
This is in response to the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who threatened to sue the National Security Minister for not complying with the law on reporting to Parliament annually, on the state of intelligence and security in the country.
“He [Kan Dapaah] appears before us in-camera and gives us briefings on what is happening,” Mr. Acheampong said to Citi News.
The Mpraeso MP assured that his committee, and by extension, the House, is well briefed on happenings in the national security domain.
“Whenever there is a situation that we do not submit to, we call on the Minister, we have the power to subject the Minister before us and question him and ask of him because we are the people’s reps.”
The Minority in Parliament has on a number of occasions said Albert Kan Dapaah has flouted the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act 1996 since assuming office by refusing to send in the requisite annual reports on intelligence agencies.
In an open letter, North Tongu MP and Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the recent cases of kidnapping, murders among other crimes in the country reveals the need for more attention to be paid to the country’s security.
He has threatened to take legal action against the National Security Minister if he fails to brief parliament on security issues as he is required to do.
“The National Security Minister every year must report to Parliament and present an annual report on the intelligence agencies. This is a matter I have raised on the floor on countless occasions, and I have been ignored rather contemptuously."
“This why I am now obliged to remind them finally that within 20 days after Parliament resumes if the National Security Minister does not comply with the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, I would have to go to court to compel him,” Mr. Ablakwa said in his threat to pursue legal action.
Mr. Ablakwa is also demanding an update on the status of the two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees Ghana accepted to host in 2016.
The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, criticized Mr. Ablakwa for sidestepping due processes in putting out an open letter to demand updates on the two persons; Mahmud Umar Muhammed Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salid Al-Dhuby.