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09 July 2016

Attempts to impeach Mahama over Ford saga useless – Inusah

mahamaAny moves by the Minority in Parliament to impeach President John Mahama over the Ford Expedition saga will be an exercises in futility, a senior Member of the Majority in Parliament has said.

Describing the attempts as “useless and fruitless” the MP for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, said the minority should instead be concentrating on the November elections.

“It is much ado about nothing… They better concentrate on what they can do to win elections than engaging in a useless and fruitless petition against the President or an alleged impeachment against the President which process is even faulty from the start,” he said.

Citi News sources in Parliament revealed that the Minority side has started collecting signatures of New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs in a bid to have the Speaker of the House open impeachment proceedings against the President or have him investigated.

By close of work last Friday, at least 50 MPs from the Minority had appended their signatures to a document that may push for either Parliamentary investigation into President John Mahama’s Ford Expedition Saga or impeachment proceedings against the President.

But Alhaji Fuseini, who is also a former Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee in Parliament, maintained that the Minority’s actions would yield no results.

He further stated that, the Minority should have “engaged more with both sides of the house before they even come public with what they are doing.”

Background

President Mahama has been drawing heavy fire since news reports named him as having received a dubious car gift from a Burkinabe Contractor.

The contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, is on record as having confirmed giving out the car as gift to Mr. Mahama, for which the President called to thank him.

Media reports have quoted Mr. Kanazoe as saying the gift was a purely friendly gesture and not a dubious token aimed at influencing the Mahama administration to reciprocate by giving him government contracts.

But anti-corruption campaigners have called for a transparent probe, insisting that the car gift may have been a bribe disguised as a friendly gesture, especially as it came from a man whose company had executed two contracts for the government of Ghana.

Bribery claims over Ford gift baseless – Mahama

The President has publicly confirmed receipt of the car but denies it was a bribe. In his defence, the President said he was not a fan of American cars and that the ford vehicle in question had been put into the pool of state cars.

However, Minority MPs have dismissed the President’s explanations and are pressing for a probe and may even push for his removal from office.

Majority to stand behind president

Insiders say if the Minority decides to press for a Parliamentary probe; the Majority side may shoot down such a motion given the sheer size of the governing NDC in Parliament.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Alfred Agbesi, has already openly warned that the Majority will not tolerate any extra constitutional moves to investigate the President.

Can the Minority MPs remove the President?

For the Minority to succeed in grounding impeachment proceedings against the President, at least one third of MPs in the Ghanaian legislature must sign onto the petition for Mr. Mahama’s removal.

Furthermore, for a President to be removed from office under the 1992 Constitution, at least two third-majority of MPs in Ghana’s 275-member legislature, must vote for a motion calling for the President’s impeachment.

Such a vote will be taken only after a five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice indicts the President.

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