Debates of 7 Jun 2006

PRAYERS 10 a.m.




Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 6th June, 2006. [No correction was made in the Votes and Proceedings,]
Hon. Members, we have the Official
Report for Thursday, 1st June, 2006.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
Official Report, 1st June, 2006, column 474, paragraph 4, it says - “An hon. Member”. Mr. Speaker, it appears that the Table Office or whoever was doing the recording did not capture who that hon. Member was. It says - “An Hon. Member: Mr. Speaker , I beg to second the motion”. We ought to know who seconded that motion.
Then column 500, paragraph 3, the second but last line, there is a spelling error. “Choggunayilli” is spelt “Chog- gummnnayilli”, if the correction can be made.
Mrs. Agnes A. Chigabatia 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, sorry to take you back to the Votes and Proceedings, page 6. Yesterday, I was present; I was not absent with permission.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
The correction will
be done.
Hon. Majority Leader, I wanted to go straight to the Public Business, but it does not appear the Chairman of the Appointments Committee is in the House.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10 a.m.
We will arrange to find him.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
So we will take item 3 -- Statements.

Mr. Abuga Pele (NDC - Chiana- Paga) 10:10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement. The Statement is very important because I think that the nation needs to rally behind and give their prayer and support to our national team, the Black Stars so that they can perform well.
Initially, a lot of us in this country were viewing the preparation of the Black Stars with trepidation because we were not sure of which path they were charting, particularly considering the series of defeats in the Cup of Nations and the first few friendly matches. But God willing, they seem to have found the right rhythm and one only hopes that this would be further strengthened. The resources at the disposal of the coach in terms of the calibre of players we have should be welded into a very strong team so that subsequently they can go into the main competition and beat many of the nations that hitherto had been considered to be tough football nations of this world.
Mr. Speaker, as the Statement said, we find ourselves in a very strong group. We know of Italy, we know of the United States of America, we know the strength of all the teams in our group; and we know how difficult it is going to be. But football, like everybody knows, is about how disciplined you are, how you approach the game and how determined you are to win.
Mr. Speaker, one can only at this stage pray and congratulate the Black Stars for their entry into the World Cup and we hope that the nation will prepare itself for subsequent World Cup Tournaments.
Mr. Speaker, what is significant about this particular Black Stars team is the fact that,\ they emerged from the academy; many of them emerged from these academies and juvenile teams that over the years had been prepared and the result is what we are now seeing. Why we did not earlier on reap the benefits of these great talent was the fact that the team itself was not properly united and the discipline in the team was particularly a very big problem.
So we hope that in subsequent times the team will grow into a stronger team and that in future the authorities who are responsible for organizing football in this country will be very serious with the academies. Because, it is on the basis of these academies that we can continue to participate in the World Cup Competition and become a strong football nation.
Mr. Speaker, I cannot see any single country today participating in this World Cup Tournament that has not laid a very firm foundation for juvenile soccer development. That is why it is very important for Government, if not Government itself but Government with private sector participation, to encourage the establishment of juvenile academies,
juvenile systems in this country, and lay down the regulations in such a way that they will guide and regulate how our young footballers are developed into mature footballers, how they are transferred, how we keep in touch with them when they are on transfer to foreign clubs. These are all issues that we need to consider after the World Cup Tournament; but what we are concerned about now is the World Cup itself.
Mr. Speaker, I think I should take advantage of this situation to also caution that we should be more serious with the organization of CAN 2008. Mr. Speaker, we have been given the assurances, several times, that the infrastructure is on course and we are sure that by the end of the period given by CAF, the infrastructure will be ready for CAN 2008. But Mr. Speaker, there is the need for the Ministry to constantly involve all stakeholders, brief people and let everybody into the picture of exactly how the preparation is being done.
Presently, we had the benefit of being lectured by the people, the brains behind the World Cup 2006 in Germany. And Mr. Speaker, it is very instructive to find that even the whole system of government, the machinery of government was involved. The Minister for the Interior was involved, the Minister for Defence was involved, the Minister for Sports - everybody was involved.
It is as if the whole nation had rallied behind a particular cause and they want to get it done and done properly, so they can reap the benefits from the competition. You would find the department that is responsible for getting economic benefits from the competition, well structured; those that are to be in charge of tourism properly structured, security, every system is involved because it is going to put the nation in the limelight. It is going to focus the nation and -- The whole world is going
Mr. Abuga Pele (NDC - Chiana- Paga) 10:20 a.m.
to be looking at what Germany is doing to prepare for the 2006 World Cup. That is why it has become a national crusade for everybody to be involved. I think that we need to replicate this in this country. Every department of our energy, whether in government or NGOs, all stakeholders must be rallied to support the CAN 2008 so that we can access the benefits of it at the end of the period.
Mr. Speaker, I wish again to urge that we all give our support to the Black Stars, congratulate them for their efforts so far, and pray that they demolish Italy in the first match and move on to the quarter finals and subsequently even to play in the finals.

A s h a n t i R e g i o n a l M i n i s t e r (Designate) (Mr. Emmanuel Asamoa Owusu-Ansah): Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the goodwill message to the Black Stars that has been delivered by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Sports,Youth and Culture.

Mr. Speaker, I particularly share the

view of the hon. Member in expressing thanks to the Government for the support that has been given to the Black Stars thus far and also to all Ghanaians, including particularly our media for the support and encouragement that have been given to the Black Stars. Also, we must be thankful to our sponsors, both home and abroad, for bringing the Black Stars, thus far.

Mr. Speaker, the qualification of the Black Stars to enlist their names among the elite in world football has not come by any happenstance but by meticulous planning and dedication on the part of our players and the technical men.

As we express our thanks and our encouragements to the Black Stars players,

I think we might as well do the same to our technical men, both present and past. As the former Vice-President of the Ghana Football Association, I have been personally involved in the Black Stars' preparations, in their qualification periods and I know the efforts that had been made by our local coaches, our local technical men before the foreign coaches came in. And Mr. Speaker, I think, as I said earlier on, it is just as good that we say a big thank you to our indigenous coaches and technical men who have brought the Black Stars this far.

Mr. Speaker, as the Black Stars prepare

to embattle the Group E opponents in the World Cup Tournament and as we send our goodwill message to the Black Stars, I think we must also advise and caution them and ask that they play to the whistle. There is nothing that weakens the resolve of a team than having a member of the team sent away during the course of play through a red card.

Recently, Arsenals of England played Barcelona of Spain and those of us who are football addicts saw that as soon as Arsenals lost one of their men they became an easy prey for Barcelona; we must guard against this. So I pray that as we send the goodwill message, we must include in our message the advice that our boys must play to the whistle.

Mr. Speaker, again, as a former match Commissioner for the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), I am aware that referees make human errors. Sometimes, they make a mistake and later on they admit that they have made a mistake; meanwhile, the team would have suffered. Again, recently in the same Arsenal/Barcelona match, a referee hastily gave a red card, but later he admitted that he was too fast in administering the red card to the player and that if he had exercised a bit of caution
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10:20 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, it has to do with relevance. I think the hon. Member is dwelling too much on referees; the Statement is on the Black Stars but he has taken about five minutes already talking about referees, the red cards and all those things. Mr. Speaker, he should address the issue before us.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, please continue.
Mr. Owusu-Ansah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think that the hon. Deputy Minority Leader is not a football addict, he does not know anything about football otherwise he would not make this comment.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:20 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague appears to be misleading the House with the information that he is giving out. Yes indeed, the referee acknowledged, in the case of the match between Arsenal and Barcelona that he acted too hastily in not allowing the goal which was scored by Barcelona to stand. But as regards the aftermath, he could have -- After allowing the goal, the discretion was for the referee to have given a yellow card or a red card because the offence that was committed was a bookable offence and indeed a red card offence. [Interruptions.] Mr. Speaker, that is the truth. The discretion still did lie with the referee to give a yellow card or a red card; so he should not create the
impression that after allowing the goal the only option was to give a yellow card. Mr. Speaker, that is it.
Mr. Owusu-Ansah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will respectfully ignore the last comment, I will not make any remark about it. Mr. Speaker, so as I was saying, we need absolute concentration in the game of football and I pray that as we send our goodwill message we must also advise our boys to play to the whistle, have good concentration and carry the flag of Ghana very high.
Mr. Speaker, on this note, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution to the goodwill message ably made by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee.
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC - Ningo/ Prampram) 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I also rise to support the Statement and wish the Black Stars well. But before I do that I want to correct an impression that has been created, which is misleading, by the hon. Regional Minister (designate) that when the Arsenals goalkeeper was shown the red card the impression was as if that was what influenced their losing the match, because the number had been reduced. Several clubs are on record as having won matches in Ghana and outside with nine men, so that impression is not right.
Mr. Speaker, I think that all that has to be said has been said and I will agree with him that we should encourage our players, as we always do, to play with the referee rather than against the referee. If they decide to complain at the least opportunity to the referee, they may incur the displeasure of the referee, and at the end of the day he will take decisions which will affect the team. Mr. Speaker, as has been said, we believe that if our young men play as a team they will get there.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP - Suame) 10:30 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to also associate myself with the Statement made by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Sports.
Mr. Speaker, the performances of the Black Stars lately appear to be quite illuminating in the trial matches that they have played. Recently, they beat Korea; Korea is ranked 29th; we are ranked 48th -- about 20 rungs down the ladder -- and yet we were able to rise to the occasion and beat them 3-1. Turkey is ranked 22nd, the Black Stars 48th, we managed, we were not intimidated by the ranking and we drew with them. Jamaica is also ahead of us in the ranking and yet we beat them 4-1.
Mr. Speaker, we must admit that the quality of players that we have today, in the annals of the football history of this country, we would not rank them as the best, player for player, and yet they have managed to be the first to qualify for this fiesta. Mr. Speaker, the players should count themselves very lucky but their efforts really bodes well for us, as a country, because any team that relies solely on one or two talents, on many occasions, do not do well. A classic example that we have currently is the case of Real Madrid, an assembly of quality players but who are not able to deliver.

At the local level, Mr. Speaker, we have witnessed the upsurge of teams like Real Tamale United (RTU), Goldfields, Okwawu United, Akotex, Juantex, Defence Stars -- later to be called SS 74 -- and even Techiman Holy Stars.
Mr. Simon Osei 10:30 a.m.

Bosomtwe): Mr. Speaker, I also rise to
Mr. Simon Osei 10:40 a.m.
associate myself with the Statement made by the Member of Parliament for Atwima Mponua and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Sports, Youth and Culture.
Mr. Speaker, sports especially football,
is one activity that is indisputably a uniting factor for this country. It unites all shades of people the moment our National Teams are performing creditably.
Mr. Speaker, after the qualification of
the Black Stars to the World Cup for the first time, we saw how jubilant the Nation was and how expectant all of us have been, waiting to see our Black Stars enter the World Cup, come June 9.
But Mr. Speaker, we realized that
immediately after the Black Stars' qualification to the World Cup, the performance became nothing to write home about. When they went to Egypt, they performed abysmally and the subsequent trial matches were also not the best. But one's heart is gladdened when one considers the last three trial matches. And I am happy to say that now I am not so worried about the first abysmal performances because we did not have the full complement of the team. It was during these last three trial matches that one can talk about the full complement of the Black Stars team that we intend to take to this year's World Cup.
Mr. Speaker, the Black Stars should know that when they go to the World Cup, they would not be there alone. They are there also to defend the flag of Ghana, they are there to sell Ghana; and they are there to defend the image of this country and also for their own benefits, they are also there to sell themselves. We wish they would play to their utmost limit and achieve what no other African country has achieved by ultimately, if not even winning the cup finally, at least becoming
the runners-up.
Mr. Speaker, while we enjoy and extend
goodwill messages to the Black Stars, we should not lose sight of the fact that there is the need also to make conscious efforts to plan our football activities, such that we do not always rely on the professional teams that play in our premiership.
Mr. Speaker, it would be worth it if
we could set up district teams; that each district should have a Senior Team, maybe under 23, and then under 22 and under 17. And out of these district teams the nation could raise various teams and then it would also be far easier for us to get our team whenever the need arises.

Currently, if you watch, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) is in the process of building a team for the junior side. They are now moving all over the country and playing trial matches to select people. If we were to have such district teams that have been playing together, they could easily have assessed some of these brilliant talents that we cannot now unearth because they are found in some of the remotest areas of this country.

Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I wish the Ghana Black Stars the best of luck.
PAPERS 10:40 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Item 5 - Motion.
MOTIONS 10:40 a.m.

Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly. Ninth Report of the Appointments
Committee on Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial Nominations
Mr. Blay 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, That this honourable House adopts the Ninth Report of the Appointments Committee on Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial nominations.
Mr. Speaker, in doing so, I would crave your indulgence that you ask the

Hansard Office to consider the whole report, which is an 18-page document, as having been read. I would further crave your indulgence to allow me to read a few excerpts from the Report, particularly the “Introduction”.

1.0 Introduction

Pursuant to articles 78 (1), 79 (1) and 256 of the Constitution, His Excellency the President communicated to Parliament, for prior approval, his nomination of sixteen persons for appointment as Ministers or Deputy Ministers as follows:

i. Mr. Francis Poku -- Minister-designate, National Security

ii. Hon. Joe Ghartey -- Attorney-General-designate

iii. Miss Gloria Akuffo -- Minister of State-designate, Aviation

iv. Hon. K. Adjei-Darko -- Minister of State, Office of the President

v. Ho. S. Asamoah-Boateng -- Minister-designate, Local Government, Rural

Development and Environment

vi. Hon. E. A. Owusu-Ansah -- Regional Minister-designate, Ashanti

vii. Mr. I. Baffour Awuah -- Regional Minister-designate, Brong Ahafo

viii. Mr. S. Nana Ato Arthur -- Regional Minister-designate, Central

ix. Alhaji Mustapha A. Idris -- Regional Minister-designate, Northern

x. Hon. Anthony E. Amoah -- Regional Minister-designate, Western

xi. Hon. Kwame Osei-Prempeh -- Deputy Attorney-General-designate

xii. Mrs. Oboshie Sai-Cofie -- Deputy Minister-designate, Information and National Orientation

xiii. Hon. Joe Baidoe-Ansah -- Deputy Minister-designate, Tourism and Diaspora Relations

xiv. Mr. L. Akwasi Prempeh -- Deputy Regional Minister-designate, Ashanti

xv. Mr. A. Kwadwo Kwakye -- Deputy Regional Minister-designate, Brong Ahafo

xvi. Mr. Kwasi Blay -- Deputy Regional Minister-designate, Western.

1.1 In accordance with Order 172 (2) of the Standing Orders, the Speaker referred the nominations to the Appointments Committee on 16th May, 2006 for consideration and report.

2.0 Reference Documents

The Committee made reference to the underlisted documents during its deliberations:

i. Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992;

ii. Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana;

iii. First Report of the Appointments Committee on the President's Nominations for Ministerial Appointments (1st February, 2005)

iv. Citizenship Act, 2000, (Act 591}.

3.0 Procedure

After the referral, the Committee held preliminary discussions on the nominations. The nominations were then published in the mass media in accordance with Order 172 (3) and formally invited written memoranda from the general public on the suitability, conduct, experience and capability of the nominees. In response, one memorandum was officially received by the Committee in respect of one of the nominees.

On appearing before the Committee,

the nominees took an oath and answered questions on pertinent issues relevant to their record of public office and the positions for which they have been nominated.

Finally, in deciding on the nomination, the Committee was guided by the provisions of article 94 of the Constitution. 4.0 Observations

4.1 Mr. Francis Kwaku Poku -- Minister-designate for National Security

The consideration of Mr. Francis Poku was held in camera. Before the commencement of proceedings, a section of the Committee raised objection to this procedure citing Order 172 (3) and article 17 of the Constitution. However, it was reasoned that issues that may be raised could be prejudicial to the nation's security and therefore the national interest would be better served if the hearing was held in camera. Subsequently, the Committee decided to consider the nominee in


When he appeared before the Committee, Mr. Poku answered a wide range of questions relating to his portfolio. The nominee told the Committee that, among others, he would be very interested to move towards more engagement of Parliament in issues of national security. Mr. Poku noted that a process of unifying the nation's security policies began with the commencement of the 1992 Constitution.

He said more transparency in the pursuit of national security was necessary in order to erase the view that the national security apparatus is only used to serve the purposes of the Government of the day. He expressed the view that this honourable House should be more engaged in building consensus on security policies.

Mr. Poku observed that he would derive his powers from the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act 1996 (Act 526) and that would constitute the basis of his operations. He noted that on his appointment, he would assume ministerial responsibility for the various security agencies including the regional security councils and report same to this House periodically. On the observance of human rights, the nominee who is currently the National Security Co-ordinator, said he has always impressed on personnel of the security agencies to always act within the confines of the law. He said, he had set up a legal section within the security agencies to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Mr. Poku said the security agencies have some discretion to undertake operations to protect certain individuals but assured the Committee that such operations are monitored very closely to avoid possible excesses.

The Committee recommends that the House approves his nomination by consensus.

4.2 Hon. Joe Ghartey -- Attorney- General and Minister- designate for Justice

Hon. Joe Ghartey is the Member of Parliament for Essikado/Ketan and Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice. He told the Committee that eighteen years standing at the Bar may be relatively young but have prepared him sufficiently for the position of Attorney- General. He stated that as Attorney- General, his first constituency is the legal fraternity so he would give due respect to both the Bar and Bench in the discharge of his duties.

On the separation of the position of Attorney-General from that of Minister of Justice, hon. Ghartey cited certain historical events to argue that the separation of the two positions per se, would not guarantee an apolitical Attorney-General. To him, “the man maketh the position and not the position that maketh the man”. He explained that even as Minister of Justice, one's first calling was to the legal profession to which one had sworn an oath; politics is just but a passing phase so acting on the basis of principles was the only way to succeed.

He assured the Committee to do justice without fear or favour or ill-will towards all men. Although the nominee shared the concern of the public about delayed judgements, he stated that “it is important that justice is not sacrificed on the altar of speed”.

With regard to the collapse of parts of the Cocoa Affairs Courts, hon. Ghartey informed the Committee that some temporary arrangements had been made to relocate some of the courts and the
Mr. Abraham Ossei Aidooh (NPP -- Tema West) 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion and just to add that one nominee, that is the nominee for the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, was disqualified on grounds that he owed allegiance to another country apart from Ghana. Mr. Speaker, I am just emphasizing this point because it is surprising how this situation can occur again. This is not the first time; it has happened once or twice. In another instance there was somebody, not in this Parliament, who was nominated but who had no vote. Mr. Speaker, I am making this point because I am amazed at the kind of check that is done by our security agencies on the nominees. Is it the case that a nominee to such a position would not have his background well checked, or that they tell lies and then the security apparatus in the country just takes what they say to be the truth?
Mr. Speaker, in view of this it may be necessary for the Committee to do an in-depth
background check on all nominees in future before they are passed. The fact that this situation has arisen, in fact, gives some cause to worry as regards all the other facts that the Committee always assumes to be true. Therefore, we may have to realign the procedures of the Committee in view of this event. It may be necessary for the Executive to give the Committee or this Parliament ample time to do sufficient investigations, indepen-dent of the findings of the Executive, before the Committee decides to approve or not to approve of nominees. It is probable that some of our office holders in the Executive may or may not have passed if we had done these checks.
Therefore, I am raising this concern and I hope those who have any role to play in these processes would do better work for the Executive through the apparatus that investigates the background of the nominees, so that this embarrassing situation would not be repeated. I find it worrying that this fact almost escaped all of us until it was raised by a member of the Committee.
On that note, Mr. Speaker, I second the motion and I also congratulate all the successful nominees.
Question proposed.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho (NDC - Avenor/
Ave): Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion but I have very strong reservations.
Mr. Speaker, if you look at the introductory part of the Committee's Report they made reference to article 79 (1) of the Constitution; and if you look at article 79 (1) there is a discretion there -- The President may choose to exercise that discretion in consulting the Minister of State before appointing his Deputy to assist him. But this motion we are about to approve clearly shows that the President does not want to exercise that discretion in consulting the Ministers before appointing their Deputies. Because in this Report, if you take the case of the Attorney-General and his Deputy, we are approving them today and it is his discretion because until you are properly approved by this House you cannot call yourself a Minister of State; at best you are Minister-designate
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
on a point of order. I do not know, but the Constitution requires the President to consult Ministers before he appoints Deputies. The Constitution does not require the President to consult Ministers before nominating Deputies. That is the difference. So far the President has not made any appointment of Deputies; he has only made nominations and the Constitution does not require him to consult anybody before nominating.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the point being made is that there is no Minister of State for the President to consult. As at now, they are only Ministers -designate; there is no Minister of State now. That is my first observation.
Mr. Speaker, the second observation I want to make and which I feel very strongly about is with regard to the in- camera hearing for the Minister-Designate for National Security. I am not worried as to whether it is in camera or public hearing, that is not my problem. If one reads the judgement of the Supreme Court concerning J. H. Mensah versus The Attorney-General, it is clear that the approval process is not a term of art; prior approval is not a term of art and therefore we can do it anyhow. Again, article 110 (1) stipulates that subject to the Constitution, we are masters of our own procedure - subject only to the Constitution of this country.
Mr. Speaker, my problem with this Report we are about to approve is, where does it start and where does it end? Are we laying the grounds that will enable committees to go and suspend Standing Orders and do their businesses and bring their reports to us? Where is this going to
end? For me, that is my worry. Any other Committee can go -- and the provisions will be so clear and mandatory -- and they will decide that this time, they are suspending the Standing Orders just as the Appointment Committee has done and go ahead and do it.
It is not the fault of the nominee; it is the fault of the Appointments Committee. To the extent that it is the fault of the Appointment Committee - I thought that it was an opportunity that the Appoint-ments Committee of this House has missed. It was an opportunity -- On this occasion, they should have laid the ground rules and tabled it for the House to look at. Mr. Speaker, if one reads Standing Order 191 - I hope that is the correct version I am holding -- [Laughter]-- and it reads as follows:
(1) An instruction empowers a Committee to consider matters not otherwise referred to it.
(2) No instruction shall be given to a Committee to do that which it is already empowered to do or to deal with a question beyond the scope of a Bill or matter.
(3) An instruction to a Committee extending or restricting the order of reference may be moved, after notice, on any day prior to the report of the Committee.”
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Which Standing Order
are you referring to?
Mr. Adjaho 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I served
notice before referring to it -- I served notice that it is that of 30th November, 1995. Mr. Speaker, it is there, we have not removed it. I think that we have brought in some new clauses that have shifted some of the Standing Orders positions. Mr. Speaker, what I quoted was rather
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my very distinguished Friend, I think, is missing the point here. I believe that the Committee met and took the decision to hear the National Security Advisor in camera. And so when we attended the main Committee -- some of us were not at the deliberations of the first meeting - we agreed to uphold the decisions of the Committee, which had met previously. Indeed, the issue was raised as to whether it should be in camera or public. We had no difficulty with it but we did not rescind the earlier decision and I do not believe that that is in contravention of the Standing Orders at all.
Every Committee has its procedures and we have done this many a time when we met - from hon. Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama's time when he was the hon. Minister for Defence. And those of us on the Committee met him in seclusion. So we have not infringed in any way the rules of the game. I do not know what the hon. Deputy Minority Leader is saying. I believe that the right thing has been done and so let us move on.
Mr. Adjaho 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the point I
Mr. E. A. Agyepong 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it looks like my hon. Colleague the Deputy Minority Leader is misleading this House. He started by quoting Standing Order 192 (2) and what he quoted has no relevance to the matter we are considering. But more importantly, Mr. Speaker, my hon. Colleague should have addressed his mind to Standing Order 199 and Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I quote:
“No stranger shall be admitted to any meeting of a Committee without the consent of the Chairman, unless the Committee decides that such meeting shall be held in public: Provided that the Chairman of a Committee may, whenever he thinks fit, order the withdrawal of strangers from any meeting which is being held in public.”
So even if the Appointments Committee is to meet in public, there is still this saving clause which allows the Chairman -- and I believe, from what I heard from the Chairman of the Committee when they were deliberating on this matter -- It was a question of looking at the national interest and national security. And the whole Committee decided. The fact that certain people were not around was immaterial. There was a quorum, and they took a decision. Therefore, for us now to ignore this very important provision in Standing Order 199 and to say that the Committee erred, I think it is not just fair to the Committee in general and the Chairman in particular, and I wish that my hon. Colleague withdraws his statement.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, what do you say to this proviso? Standing Order 199.
Mr. Adjaho 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the only
committee of this House that talks about
public hearings is the Appointments Committee and it is the Appointment Committee that has brought this Report and that is what we are addressing. Mr. Speaker, I am referring to Standing Order 172 - that is the only Committee of this House that the Standing Orders say that it shall hold its meetings in public.
Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I
quote Standing Order 172 (3) --
“The names of persons nominated for appointment in the Committee shal l be publ ished, and the proceedings of the Committee shall be held in Public.”
The clause that the hon. Majority Leader referred to applies to all other Committees except the Appointments Committee. So, it is only for the Appointments Committee that specific provisions have been made for public hearing. The rest of the Committees hold their meetings in camera but the Chairman of the Committee, for good reasons, may want to hold it in public. If you consider what he has read, it is a specific provision for a specific Committee. If one reads the rules of the procedure interpretation, one will know that this is a specific provision for a specific Committee.
Mr. Speaker, the point I made earlier on is 10:50 a.m.

Mr. Speaker, what I am saying is that when the matter -
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, I want to hear you out, do you support the motion which is on the floor?
Mr. Adjaho 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I started
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Minority Leader, I am
here to give you that protection.
Mr. Adjaho 10:50 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, a matter of procedure -- The Standing Orders, the contention that because there is a provision under Order 172 that the hearings or the deliberations of the Appointments Committee shall be in public takes that Committee out of the provision of 199 is, in fact, fallacious and misconceived. Mr. Speaker, Standing Order 199 comes under Sub-Part II of the Standing Orders. Mr. Speaker, the heading of Sub-Part II is “Operation of Committees” and therefore Order 199 in fact, affects all committees including the Appointments Committee and therefore Order 172 is subject to Order 199.
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, Order 199, the proviso, talks about “provided that the Chairman of a Committee” -- Are you saying that this does not govern provisions of Order 172?
Mr. Adjaho 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it does not cover it, Mr. Speaker, because there is a specific procedure for purposes of the Appointments Committee and it does not
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, are you asking me to make a ruling on this matter or it is only an observation?
Mr. Adjaho 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, there is no
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, I asked you a question, whether you wanted me to make a ruling on this matter or it is only an observation you are making.
Mr. Adjaho 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, what I am making, as I said, is observation so I do not know what my hon. Colleague opposite would - [Interruption.]
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker -- [Interruption] -- I have been given the floor. We fail to understand the issue here. If the hon. Deputy Minority Leader is arguing that the Committee acted ultra vires then it is a different story but inasmuch as that particular provision, Standing Order 199 covered it and there was no caveat on it, the interpretation was simple; it applies to all committees. If the framers of the Standing Order wanted a caveat on it, a proviso, they would have put it there.
So what we advise ourselves was that since we are masters of our own procedures and we believed that because the hon. Minister-designate is in such a sensitive position, we should do it that way. That was what a full committee meeting decided and it was not ultra vires. If the hon. Member from Avenor/ Ave wants us now to change the rule, we could change it. But for now, nobody has done anything which is untoward or ultra vires so I do not think he has a point. He does not have a point as far as procedure is concerned. That is the point we are arguing here.
Mr. Speaker 11 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, please go ahead.
Mr. Adjaho 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, fortunately, I hold a contrary view and I am entitled to my view. Mr. Speaker, I believe that if the Appointments Committee had taken the opportunity to lay down clearcut rules as to situations where the Committee might want to meet in camera instead of public hearing I would have had no problem with it. We would know the limits that we could go and the situations where we can have an in-camera meeting.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I think the point has been made for the umpteenth time to the hon. Deputy Minority Leader that no rules were suspended. Mr. Speaker, with respect, the hon. Minority Leader is entitled to his opinion; that is so but certainly he is not entitled to his own set of rules and facts. Mr. Speaker, what he is saying is factually incorrect. He is entitled to his opinion; that we grant him but he is not entitled to his own sets of facts. He is wrong.
Mr. Adjaho 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, for the records I want to read this so that it would be captured in the Hansard. Mr. Speaker, again, it is Standing Order 172 (3).
“The names of persons nominated for appointment in the Committee shal l be published (“shal l” , “mandatorily be published”), and the proceedings of the Committee shall be held in public.”
The point being made is that if the committee decides to do so in camera, they must come back to the House -- that is my view - [Interruption.] This is a provision relating to how the Appoint- ments Committee does its work -- then the House would decide that for this matter let us do it this particular way.
Mr. Speaker, we are being told that the names were published; that is good, but we are also being told that the meeting was held in camera. Part of the Standing Orders have been complied with; part of it has not be complied with. Mr. Speaker, in future, let us get the House involved in these matters. I have no problem whatsoever with the in-camera meeting but I totally do not support the view that this is the approach.
Mr. Speaker, the last and my final comment on this Report, is the part that deals with the hon. Attorney-General. The Report has captured very interesting comments that he has made, and Mr. Speaker, that is found on page 5, third paragraph; and I quote:
“He explained that even as Minister of Justice, one's first calling was to the legal profession to which one has sworn an oath; politics is just but a passing phase, so acting on the basis of principles was the only way to succeed.”
Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the hon. Attorney-General for making this very important statement before the Appointments Committee. I believe that he is true to his profession and calling and that we expect that he would live up to these fine words that he has stated here. Mr. Speaker, I am saying this because for us as lawyers certain developments in this country are not the best. For example, I had an opportunity of discussing with some of my hon. Colleagues opposite that as a lawyer, I do not see under what circumstances non-payment of debts would be criminalized in this country. I cannot see it as a lawyer, especially flowing from a commercial business transaction. I think that I congratulate him for making this very important statement and we shall hold him to it. I commend

him and I wish him well in his Ministry.

Mr. Speaker, with these words, I support the motion.
Mr. G. Kuntu-Blankson (NDC - Mfantsiman East) 11:10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to support the motion with regard to the appointment of some of the hon. Members of this House.
Mr. Speaker, before I congratulate our hon. Colleagues who have been elevated to such stature, I would like to quote one adage of the late Ohene Akyene of blessed memory who became the Presidential Commission Chairman that presided over the country whenever Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was outside the country. I quote:
“The tree that Kwaku Ananse climbed and fell to his death, his son Ntikuma should not sit under and dose.”
In our local parlance it states that “Edua a Kwaku Ananse aforo apa ewu no, neba Ntikuma ontena ase nto nko. Why am I saying this?
I would like to urge our hon. Colleagues
who have been elevated in this House that they should be mindful of what happened before their Colleagues were removed. I want to caution them that the position given to them requires service. The President had the wisdom to remove those Ministers and give their positions to them so that they can serve the nation, so that this nation would go forward. That is why they were given the position.
In this vein, I would want to urge them to render good services to the people
because the people are suffering. The people are worried. They need people who can lead them and give them what they want so that they will feel at home, so that whatever votes they caste for us would not be in vain.
On this note, I wish God's guidance and God's blessings over everybody who has been confirmed today. Thank you.
Alhaji Malik A. Yakubu (NPP - Yendi) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would also like to support this motion and to commend the Appointments Committee for a job well done.
Mr. Speaker, the one instance where there appeared to have been controversy in the work of the Appointments Committee was this issue of the meeting being held in camera. Now, notwith-standing that, the meeting was held in camera for good cause. It is clear that that did not hinder members of the Committee from thoroughly dealing with nominees who appeared before them. The report shows clearly that all questions that needed to be asked were asked and answers given accordingly. And members of the Committee definitely were very satisfied with the answers given by the nominee - Mr. Francis Poku.
I think therefore, that if that was the area where there was a little bit of controversy and the Committee is able, almost unanimously, to come out satisfied that their job was duly discharged, I think that that is a credit to the Committee and its Chairman used his discretion in a very wise manner. I therefore think that this Report should not only be accepted generally by all of us but the Committee should be commended for, as usual, discharging the duty very, very well to the satisfaction of the House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Inusah A. B. Fuseini (NDC - Tamale Central) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion on the floor of the House and to add a few comments to what has been said before. Mr. Speaker, I think I have to commend the Appointments Committee for the work done, except that Mr. Speaker, I have the view that the holding of the vetting of the Minister for National Security in camera appears in my view to violate the Standing Orders of this House.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Order! Let him continue.
Mr. Fuseini 11:10 a.m.
Sorry, Mr. Speaker, I am just coming from the court. Mr. Speaker, Order 199 appears to speak to general meetings - It is a general provision regulating meetings of committees. And Mr. Speaker, you would realize it even from the way it is couched. It is couched in such a way as to suggest that it speaks to where committee meetings are held outside the public. That is how it is couched. My Lord - [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale Central, my own view is that this one is applicable so you may - yes, it is applicable. Order 199 is applicable to 172.
Mr. Fuseini 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, very well. I
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
You may go to the next point.
Mr. Fuseini 11:10 a.m.
Indeed paragraph 4 (2) is also of relevance to what I am going to say in this House. Mr. Speaker, paragraph 3 of paragraph 4 (2) states that with regard to the collapse of part of the Cocoa Affairs Courts, hon. Ghartey informed the Committee that some temporary arrangements - Mr. Speaker, temporary arrangements bring to me the vivid recollection of what happened when the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana was to be established.
Mr. Speaker, we have heard it said many times that the Faculty of Law was established on temporary basis and it took as many as 20 years for a permanent structure to be constructed to replace the Faculty of Law. Mr. Speaker, indeed, it is important that we all appreciate that the administration of justice in this country must inspire confidence in the people who go to the courts to seek justice.
M y L o r d , t h e d i l a p i d a t e d - [Interruptions.] Mr. Speaker, the - [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Oh! Please, go ahead; go ahead - [Interruptions] - Order!
Mr. Fuseini 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the dilapidated structures at the cocoa affairs - [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr. Fuseini 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the dilapidated structures at the Cocoa Affairs court not only pose danger to the people who go there to seek justice but do not inspire confidence in the people who go
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Fuseini 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, indeed, you will appreciate that presently, those dilapidated structures are being re- enforced with steel pillars and the fear is that when those structures have been replaced, they will remain there as temporary structures till thy kingdom come.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, maybe, I can save our hon. Friend by way of this information. At the sitting, it was said that the Public Works Department (P.W.D) is already working on the building on the instructions of the President. Everything is being done. We have spent so much time - but it is being done.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Order! Hon. Member for Tamale Central, go ahead.
Mr. Fuseini 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am simply
reinforcing the assurances given by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice designate that permanent structures be put in place to ensure the administration of justice in this country.
Mr. Speaker, that being so, it is not out of place, actually, to re-emphasize the need, as a country to ensure that indeed, these assurances that have been given by the Minister-designate are carried through.
Mr. Speaker, indeed, can we fathom that the day the courts were collapsing, there were people in the courtroom and these structures could have collapsed on them?
Mr. Speaker, with these comments, I support the motion on the floor.
Mr. K. A. Okerchire (NPP - Nkawkaw) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, let me add my voice to those of hon. Members who have congratulated the Appointments Committee for a good work done. Mr. Speaker, indeed, with the passing years, I think our Appointments Committee has been carving a niche for itself. There has been quite a phenomenal improvement in their work. Mr. Speaker, we were in a seminar and apparently when a participant filed quite a lot of questions to a presenter, the response was that “Ah! Why? These questions are very incisive like what we saw during the Appointments Committee's hearing”. This really shows the confidence that Ghanaians are having in the works of the Appointments Committee.
Mr. Speaker, secondly, I think now a common ground is being reached in respect of the work of the security and intelligence community. Mr. Speaker, I think that it has been the opinion of some people that when it comes to security and intelligence matters we must cast a hallow of invisibility; we must leave them, as it were, to always shroud their activities in secrecy; we must not question them.
Mr. John Dramani Mahama (NDC - Bole/Bamboi) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Appointments Committee that did this work, I think it is my duty to say a few words.
Mr. Speaker, I think it is unfortunate that you were forced to make your opinion known about the matter of whether the Committee had it within its powers to be able to hold a sitting in camera. I think what we should do is, considering that we are in the process of reviewing these Standing Orders, that is one of the issues you must refer to the Standing Orders Committee to clarify, what the powers of the various committees are.
This is because, I think that with the Appointments Committee, in particular, and with the need for transparency in its work, it is dangerous that we give the discretion to the hon. Chairman to
decide what sittings should be heard in camera and what sittings should be held in public. I believe that the Standing Orders Committee should be mandated to look at the propriety of this matter and advise the House.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to say that, as a member of the Committee, I feel satisfied that we did a much better job this time than previously. Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend our able hon. Chairman for this achievement. Mr. Speaker, I wish to state that consultation was better this time and the hon. Chairman allowed broader latitude for questions. And I encourage him that in future sittings of the Committee, he will display the same able manner in which he conducted the affairs of the Committee the last time.
Mr. Speaker, if you notice, with all the decisions that were taken, they were by consensus. It is only in one case that it was by overwhelming majority. And even that majority was so overwhelming, only two members - one abstained and one voted for a deferral. But across party lines, that decision was overwhelming.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to put on record - because of the last paragraph of our Report, that is page 17, 5.0 where the Committee expresses its deepest gratitude to the media for assisting in carrying out the proceedings to a wider public. However, it is important a little more circumspection is exercised in their reportage of proceedings in order not to prejudice the findings of the Committee. Mr. Speaker, I add my voice to that because of a few distortions that have come out as a result of the work that we carried out.
I would want to place on record that the Deputy Minister-designate for Tourism and Diaspora Relations (Mr. Joe Baidoe- Ansah) was asked a question about some certificates for some courses that he
Majority Leader/Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (Mr. Felix K. Owusu-Adjapong) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I join my hon. Colleagues in congratulating the hon. Chairman and hon. members of the Appointments Committee for a good work done. Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity of being at the sittings most of the time and I saw how they were diligent. They were bold and they wanted to get nothing but the truth in such an exercise.
Mr. Speaker, there are few comments I would want to make -- one on my own Deputy Majority Leader. He sought to create the impression that we should give more time to the Appointments Committee. I believe this should be contrary to the spirit of Standing Order 172. Mr. Speaker, Standing Order 172 seems to create the impression that time is of essence. It is the only Committee where it is enjoined to submit its report within three days after they have completed their sittings. And it is because of the circumstances under which we operate.
Mr. Speaker, infancy is a fresh appointment. Like the beginning of a presidential term, we would all want to be sure that the Ministers are in place in time so that they can work on budgets and matters like that. What I believe we need is to increase resources so that the efficiency level can increase not only by time but also by way of support service that they would secure. In that case, it means that within the same short period they will be able to do more - [Interruption] -- I am told that incentives -- yes, that is also true, that they should be sufficiently --
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Majority Leader is misleading this House. The three days stipulated in Standing Order 172(4) is after the conclusion of the Committee's Proceedings - after the completion, the Report should not delay. I thought that I should put that on record.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think he did not hear what I said and I will repeat it for him. I said that you can see an implied urgency in their performance - the way they work - and that it is the only Committee where because we want them to finish in time, that they should not waste much time, they have even been given time limit within which they should report and all that I am saying is that, yes, they should do more thorough jobs like they have done in this particular case, except that it will call for more resources so that their efficiency level can improve.
Mr. Speaker, as I said, you have already given us guidance as to the power of the Chairman of the Appointments Committee to get his Members to sit in camera; and therefore I would not want to say much about it. Except that I was a bit surprised to hear my Colleague Member from Bole/ Bamboi who the other day was trying to tell us that we should be bold in our decisions and speak boldly on matters but now wants to tell us that we at
committee should be timid, and that even the Chairman should never dream of doing things that will enable the Committee to perform its functions efficiently. I will want to rather encourage the committees to be bold.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Bole/ Bamboi.
Mr. Mahama 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, either the Majority Leader was not listening to me or he did not understand what I said, because this is a gross misrepresentation of the words I said. I said that I think the Committee did a thorough job; it did a better job than before and that much credit must be given to the Chairman because he gave a wider latitude for questioning - [Interruption] -- yes, that was what I said. He gave a wider latitude for questioning and he was more relaxed and there was better consultation and consensus, that was what I said. How that can be interpreted to mean a timidity and dereliction of duty, I cannot understand.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think he was part of the chorus relating to the fact that the decision to sit in camera should have been referred to the House. I think he was endorsing what the Deputy Minority Leader said. If he did not mean that, then it does not affect him. But I am sure the Official Report will ultimately bring out the truth and therefore if he said nothing in support of what the Deputy Minority Leader said, then there is no problem. Mr. Speaker - [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
I thought this matter has been resolved.
Mr. Mahama 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to place on record exactly what I
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
You will only say something when I call on you, Hon. Member for Bole/Bomboi?
Mr. Mahama 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, all I said was that it was unfortunate that the Speaker was compelled to give his opinion about the issue being raised by the Deputy Minority Leader. But I believe that it is a matter that should be referred to the Standing Orders Committee in order to clarify exactly what the powers of the Chairman are. I said it would be dangerous for a committee like the Appointments Committee that needs transparency in its operations to give such powers to the Chairman; that was all I said.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Bole/ Bamboi, I was not compelled in any way. I thought that I should give my ruling to save time.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is just unfortunate for him to say that it is unfortunate that the Speaker has created a problem for him in the sense - [Interruption.] In the sense that but for the Speaker, he would have wished that the Standing Orders Committee met to table what he believes is right, but if now he is not saying that - [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Majority Leader, let us forget about this particular matter; I have given the ruling on it. Take the next point.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe also that we need to make certain things clear about what hon. Joe Ghartey said about the Cocoa Affairs Court. I think he was emphatic that he is not the person responsible for the administration of the Judiciary and that he only took part as a concerned person, not as the person to implement anything.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Chairman of the Committee, do you wish to wind up?
Mr. Blay 11:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you very much and I will say that I thank Members for the various contributions from both sides and I will urge you to put the Question.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Mr. Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon. Members in accordance with articles 78 (1) 79 (1) and 256 of the Constitution, this honourable House has given approval to the nomination of the following as
Ministers of State 11:30 a.m.
i. Mr. Francis Poku
-- 11:30 a.m.

Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Committee working on the Disability Bill started the winnowing session and they are left with a few clauses to be looked at. One of the main reasons we decided to make the work for today light is for the Committee to meet and hopefully finish so that tomorrow we may be able to take the
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, before I second the motion I want to place on
record that the Chair has not referred any matter to the Committee on Defence and Interior, so whatever they are doing at the Burma Camp is their own private arrangement. Mr. Speaker, I second the motion.
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, as the available leader from the Minority side, he was not available when we were reading the Business Statement when this particular Statement was made. So if he has forgotten, he can check his approved Business Statement and then we can move on.
Mr. Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Leadership, these are matters which you can take outside the Chamber.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:40 a.m.