Parliament approves Minister-Designate for Bono Region

Photo Credit: Prime News Ghana

Parliament has finally approved the nomination of the Minister-Designate for Bono Region, Mrs. Evelyn Ama-Kumi Richardson, after an hour of secret voting by the members of the House.


The House was divided when the Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu requested for secret voting after raising several concerns.

In an objection to the motion for the approval of the nominee, the Minority Leader who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Tamale South, averred that the Minority caucus cannot support and approve a report on a matter which remains inconclusive.

He pointed out that the nominated Bono Region Minister at the time of appearing before the Committee stated that she had declared her assets, which turned out not to be true.

Mr. Iddrisu revealed that after vetting, she went through the process of assets declaration and subsequently brought receipts of the declaration to the Committee.

The Minority Leader further explained that the nominee has not been given clearance by the Auditor-General on a matter of some financial infractions when she was the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Sunyani.

Mr. Iddrisu reiterated that the nominated Minister was inconsistent with her responses, and that the deliberate attempt to provide inaccurate information on her asset declaration makes her a candidate for perjury.

Quoting Order 172 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, Mr. Iddrisu stated at the Plenary that the divided opinion from both sides of the House on the approval of the nominee calls for the need for secret balloting.

Majority’s response

The Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Suame, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, stated that there have been instances where nominated Ministers were cited by the Auditor-General for financial malfeasance and impropriety but were approved at the Plenary.

The Minority Leader who doubles as the Leader of government business noted that the necessary background checks have been done by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and have cleared the nominee.

Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu indicated that none of the allegations made against the nominated Regional Minister is inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution.

In the ruling of the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, he directed the clerks of the House to organise a secret ballot.

Committee’s observations on the submission of audit proof

The Committee deliberated on the nominee’s Audit query and wrote to the Auditor-General to enquire of the audit status of the nominee.

The Auditor-General in a written communication to the Committee explained that the management letter could not be relied upon by Parliament, as the query work is in progress.

The Auditor-General further stated in his written response that inasmuch as a management letter may contain infractions, they remain observations to the management of the audited organisation pursuant to Section 29 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584).

The Auditor –General indicated that since the audit is still under investigation, he objects to the use of audit queries on the nominee.

Results of voting

After the secret ballot at the Plenary, where 210 Members of Parliament participated, 124 Members of the House voted for “YES” while 85 Members voted for “No”, and one ballot vote was rejected.

Upon the declared results thereof, the Speaker of Parliament ruled that the cast ballots cover more than fifty percent of the vote required.

Professor Oquaye, thereafter, moved for the approval of the nominated Bono Region Minister.

Source: GhanaJustice/S.Ayisi


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