Governs Kwame Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip in Parliament
Governs Kwame Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip in Parliament
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NDC Minority MPs to stay away from parliamentary proceedings due to Ato Forson's ambulance trial

Governs Kwame Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip in Parliament has said members of the caucus will not be available for parliamentary proceedings each day during the hearing of the trial of their leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson.

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The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson and a businessman have been accused of causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state in an ambulance deal.

He is undergoing trial at the High Court in Accra.

Already the court has pleaded with parties in the matter to help the court to finish the case quickly. 

Governs Kwame Agbodza speaking to the press in Parliament on Tuesday [June 11, 2024] said the members would only be available for the business of Parliament after proceedings of the court had ended on the days scheduled for the hearing of the ongoing ambulance case trial.

“The decision comes on the back of the refusal of the presiding High Court judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, to grant a request from the lawyers of the Minority Leader for the leave of the court to enable him attend to important parliamentary business on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 when the House resumed its third meeting of the fourth session,” he said.

Addressing the press in Parliament Tuesday, Mr Agbodza said “Last week, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe again rejected a similar request from the Parliament of Ghana to enable the Minority Leader take part in a meeting of the Parliamentary Service Board which was due to take critical decisions ahead of the resumption of Parliament, among others. 

“The NDC Caucus was left with no representation at these important meetings,” he said.

Sitting on Tuesday commenced at 3p.m. instead of the usual 10 a.m. as a result of the absence of most members of the Minority Caucus in the Chamber. 

Solidarity 

The Minority Chief Whip said as the House commenced its third meeting of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament, the Minority Leader was expected to deliver a resumption address, join parliamentary leadership to engage the press and undertake other important activities as part of his legislative mandate. Those engagements, he said, were part of very important parliamentary duties exclusively reserved for the leader of a parliamentary caucus at the commencement of a parliamentary meeting.

“The NDC Minority Caucus has taken notice of this worrying trend that shows an attempt by the trial judge, Justice Asare-Botwe, to prevent the Minority Leader from performing his constitutional duties as an elected Member of Parliament and the Leader of the Minority Caucus.  

“In the light of the above, and the continuous persecution of the Minority Leader, the NDC Minority will continue to solidarise and stand by its Leader anytime he is due to appear in court,” he said.

The MP for Adaklu said the Minority caucus further reserved the right to apply all other tools available to them in their approach to business on the floor.

Background

The Minority Leader and a businessman have been accused of causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state in a deal to purchase 200 ambulances for the country between 2014 and 2016. 

They have pleaded not guilty to counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment to wilfully causing financial loss to the state, contravention of the Public Procurement Act and intentionally misapplying public property.

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