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General News of Tuesday, 20 February 2018


Amidu cruises to victory as Parliament approves Special Prosecutor

Ghana's longest-serving deputy Attorney-General has been approved by Parliament as the Special Prosecutor tasked to fight political corruption.

Martin Amidu got support from both sides of the House after a grueling eight hours of vetting at the Appointments Committee last week.

MPs from both sides of the House praised the one-time National Democratic Congress (NDC) Vice-Presidential candidate as a man of principles and of integrity.

But the Minority MPs still found space to point out some personality flaws of the 66-year old politician.

Speaker whistles 'play on' after Ayine cries foul in Amidu approval debate

Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye, has directed debate continues on the approval of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor despite a suit in court.

Rising on a point of Order, Bolgatanga East MP, Dominic Ayine drew the Speaker's attention to a suit challenging the eligibility of Mr. Amidu for the post.

The deputy ranking member on parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs committee, who filed the suit last week says, the 66-year old nominee is unqualified for the post.

This is because he is past the statutory age limit for public service - 66 years.

Quoting Standing Orders of parliament, he requested that the speaker rules on whether the house can debate an issue which is being heard by the courts.

But Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, rebutted explaining that the NDC MP's intervention was premature.

This is because, by Standing Orders 81, the motion has to be moved and seconded before any discussion including Ayine's intervention can be entertained.

But rising to Ayine's defence, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, rejected the Majority Leader's intervention.

Haruna Iddrisu

He said during the debate on the reduction of the Special Petroleum Tax he was told his intervention was belated.

The same Majority Leader told him, he should have spoken earlier before the motion was moved and seconded.

Haruna Iddrisu wanted the Majority Leader to allow the Speaker to rule on Dominic Ayine's Point of Order.

The Speaker, ruling on the matter said: "If a mere filing of a writ in any court should stop parliament from doing its work then, of course, Parliament is subjugated automatically to the court."

"There must be mutual respect between all arms of government…

"There is nothing before me to persuade me that the matter allegedly before the court….is such that Parliament cannot do its work," Prof. Oquaye ruled.

Backing the Majority Leader's explanation of the proper procedure, the Speaker reiterated that a motion must be moved and seconded before an MP can raise an objection or refer to it.

"We must learn to learn," he said and dismissed Ayine's Point of Order.