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Home Politics Minority to petition Speaker over rescission of AMERI deal

Minority to petition Speaker over rescission of AMERI deal

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The Minority in Parliament will Thursday make a formal demand to the Speaker to strike out a motion seeking a rescission of controversial AMERI power deal.

Member of Parliament for Adanso Asokwa Constituency, K. T. Hammond has filed an urgent motion asking that the House rescind it decision passed in March 2016 for the $510 million deal.

According to Mr Hammond, the deal was inflated but Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson said it was not grounded in law and they will draw the speaker’s attention to that.

The AMERI recently became a topical issue after the homes of former Power Minister, Kwabena Donkor and his Technical Advisor, Francis Dzatta were searched by the security under a court warrant, for their alleged roles in causing financial loss to the state.

The AMERI deal was signed as an emergency power agreement in February 2015, between government represented by the Minister of Power and AMERI Energy, to ameliorate the country’s power challenges at the time.

But media reports indicated the cost of the project was outrageously high. The Nana Akufo-Addo government, therefore, set up a committee to look into the deal.

 

K. T. Hammond

The Committee, led by a private legal practitioner, Phillip Addison in its report disclosed that it found technical and financial lapses in the contract.

On the financial side, the committee found out that although AMERI secured the deal, the developer that built and financed the plant charged $360million yet AMERI charged $510million for the plant.

Dr Kwabena Donkor at a press conference in April this year stated that due diligence was done in the purchasing of the plant and does not understand how the previous government is being accused of wrong doing.

The Majority has called for the deal to be rescinded arguing it was a bad deal in which the country lost lots of money.

But quoting Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution which states that:

Parliament shall not, unless the bill is introduced or the motion is introduced by, or on behalf of, the President –

(a) proceed upon a bill including an amendment to a bill, that, in the opinion of the person presiding, makes provision for any of the following –

(i) the imposition of taxation or the alteration of taxation otherwise than by reduction; or

(ii) the imposition of a charge on the Consolidated Fund or other public funds of Ghana or the alteration of any such charge otherwise than by reduction; or

(iii) the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund or other public funds of Ghana of any moneys not charged on the Consolidated Fund or any increase in the amount of that payment, issue or withdrawal; or

(iv) the composition or remission of any debt due to the Government of Ghana; or

(b) proceed upon a motion, including an amendment to a motion, the effect of which, in the opinion of the person presiding, would be to make provision for any of the purpose specified in paragraph (a) of this article.

Mr Forson argues that it is clear that no Parliamentarians shall bring a motion that will bring a financial liability to the government.

He said the government itself can only do it or a public official, adding, in the AMERI deal, it is possible that the company could go to court and seek judgment debt on it.

 

Mr Forson making a point on the floor of Parliament

The Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP said it is one of those deals that are exempted in terms of any MP going ahead to put such a motion before the Speaker.

However, Mr Hammond disagrees saying his motion would rather earn the country money and there is nothing wrong with that as far as the procedures of Parliament are concerned.

“I am looking for money for the country, so how does that impose financial liability on the country, regarding Article 108?”

He argued that the country was shortchanged and it is time to take the balance back.

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