The Minority Caucus has skipped sessions to once again support James Gyakye Quayson, the member of parliament for Assin North, leaving Parliamentary session in an indeterminate state.
When James Gyakye Quayson took office on July 4, members from the opposition Caucus announced their choice to abstain from all parliamentary proceedings during James Gyakye Quayson’s trial.
However, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, warned the Caucus that the action is against the Standing Orders of the House after the members followed through on their threats and hampered legislative business.
Moreover, persons in the public, including some lawmakers, have also voiced their displeasure with the Caucus’ ongoing absence from Parliament in support of its colleague who is being prosecuted.
Although the Caucus has received numerous requests to reverse its decision, it is adamant that it will only do so, if the criminal investigation against its colleague; James Gyakye Quayson is abandoned.
OSPs Usefulness Questioned
However, amidst missing Parliamentary session today, the Minority in Parliament, however, is debating the value of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) since it was founded.
The group claimed that not a single example of corruption has been successfully prosecuted for punishment by the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Governs Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip, claimed that the office was superfluous in light of the vast number of investigative bodies existing in the nation.
“Some of us believe that the office was needless because of EOCO, CID and financial crime unit. All those offices can combine and do a good job. However, the government insisted that the OSP will do more jobs.
“Are you aware that as we speak, they have not been able to successfully prosecute a single case, and anybody punished? So, the question is how useful is that office? So, we are saying that other people could have done the same thing.”Governs Agbodza
Prior to the government’s presentation of the mid-year budget review by the finance minister on July 25, Mr. Agbodza also sought payment of the government’s 4 billion debt owed to the District Assemblies Common Fund.
“These monies when sent to the assembly’s, form part of the critical interventions the assemblies make in our various communities. Either it is used to fix the roof of that only basic school that is in your hometown, or it is used to support the district health directorate to provide places for the district health directorate to have a CHIPS compound.
“Or it’s supposed to be used to support people who need critical health or even the feeder roads to be able to grid or reshape some of the roads, while we wait for some of the major interventions by either feeder roads or highways and other things.”Governs Agbodza
He further stated that the government presently owes the district assembly over GH4 billion of these funds and highlighted that since the majority of people had already paid taxes, the law required the government sets aside 5% of the money it had previously taken from the populace and give it to the assemblies.
“We are told that the Finance Minister will present the budget on 25th July. It will be very helpful if the minister makes some releases to the common fund administration for onward transmission to the various District Assemblies before the budget. It will make the presentation much more meaningful.”Governs Agbodza