Twenty-two of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominees have been unanimously approved by the appointments committee of Parliament, Asaase Radio‘s sources have confirmed.
Asaase Radio can also reveal that the committee wants clarification on five nominees and that three others may require a Majority decision via a vote on the floor of Parliament.
Three on hold
According to Asaase Radio‘s sources in Parliament and the Office of the President, the Ministers-designate of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, and Fisheries/Aquaculture, Hawa Koomson, have been unable to win the approval of all 26 members of the appointments committee.
Consequently, they must secure approval through a vote on the floor of Parliament.
The sources say that members of the Minority side on the appointments committee accused Oppong Nkrumah of being the person who called for Dominic Ayine, a member of the petitioner’s legal team in the Election 2020 petition, to be cited for contempt.
This followed a statement by Ayine to the media on 16 February 2021 in which he said that the Supreme Court has a “predetermined agenda” to rule on the petition in favour of President Akufo-Addo.
In the case of the Minister of Food and Agriculture-designate, Kwaku Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minority members of the appointments committee accuse him of being arrogant when he appeared for vetting. On that basis, they say, they will not approve his nomination.
With Koomson, the Minority members argue that she is not fit for the job.
Clarification on five
Information available to Asaase News further suggests that the Minority side of the appointments committee will communicate formally to the appropriate authorities to set out the clarification they need with regard to President Akufo-Addo’s five remaining nominations.
It is believed that in the case of the Roads and Highways portfolio, the clarification they are seeking has to do with details of the Tema road contract, which they say they need before they approve the nominee, Kwasi Amoako-Atta.
The approval of the Minister-designate of Communications and Digitisation, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, is also on hold because the Minority side says it requires clarification on the closure of certain radio stations.
Our source says the appointment of the Health Minister-designate, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, is on hold because Minority members of the appointments committee say he did not satisfy them with his answers to questions regarding the engagement of Frontier in September 2020 to offer COVID-19 testing services at Kotoka International Airport.
The Agyapa Gold Royalties deal and the answers given by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General-designate, Godfred Yeboah Dame, to questions posed by some members of the appointments committee require further clarification, the Minority says. As such, approval for the Attorney General-designate is also on hold, a source disclosed.
John Peter Amewu, the former energy minister who supervised the Power Distribution Services (PDS) deal and has been nominated by the president to serve in his second government as the Minister of Railway Development, also has his approval on hold.
Minority members of the appointments committee say they require clarification on certain answers on the PDS deal the minister-designate provided during vetting.