GHANA’S LAWMAKERS yesterday suspended the approval of two nominees of President Atta Mills for appointment as deputy ministers of state, to allow for further consultation because the credibility of one of them was in doubt.
Anthony Kwame Gyambiby and Kwadwo Owusu-Agyeman had been nominated for positions of Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources respectively.
However, the House had to defer the adoption of the Appointment Committee’s report for their approval to today because some MPs contended Mr Owusu-Agyeman had dishonestly presented himself to the committee.
According to them, the Lands and Natural Resources Deputy Minister-designate had included in his curriculum vitae to the Parliamentary Committee that he had a Master of Science (MSc) Degree at the time he knew he did not have such a qualification.
Commenting on the CV, MP for Techiman North, Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, who is also a member of the Appointments Committee, said, “It is the only way of getting to know the life the person has lived. If you give false declaration that you have a Masters degree and you don’t have it, that is dishonesty”.
The issue and other matters concerning the nominee were subjects of animated debate, controversy and near chaos on the floor of the House, with Haruna Bayirga and Papa Owusu-Ankomah, MPs for Sissala West and Sekondi respectively, indicating they were not going to support the approval of the nomination.
“I have supported the approval of all the ministers and deputy ministers in this House, but as for this one, I find it difficult in supporting his approval,” Mr Bayirga, who is also a member of the Appointments Committee, stated.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah, a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, after expressing similar sentiments, indicated he would give the nominee only 40 percent, having watched his performance at the vetting by the Appointments Committee.
“I was greatly distressed watching the nominee on TV,” the Sekondi MP reiterated.
Only three lawmakers from the majority NDC, namely the Deputy Majority Leader Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, MP for Wa West Joseph Yieleh Chireh and MP for Ellembelle Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, were on their feet to support the approval of the nominee.
But after several arguments for and against the approval of the nominee, Edward Doe Adjaho, the First Deputy Speaker who chaired proceedings, put the issue to a voice vote.
However, Mr Adjaho, who is also the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, had to defer the matter to today because it could not be conclusively determined by the voice vote.
The Appointment Committee’s report had indicated that “the nominee conceded to several errors and inaccuracies in his curriculum vitae (CV) submitted to the Committee. He admitted for instance that he did not complete the Masters Degree course and therefore did not hold that certificate as erroneously included in the CV”.
Kwadwo Owusu-Agyeman, the report further noted, acknowledged that items he included in his CV such as being a class prefect for three years and a “Delegate School Council,” did not constitute certificate/degree/award and ought not to be classified as such.
The nominee could go through today, as DAILY GUIDE learnt there were moves to persuade the MPs who were against his approval to soften their stance.
Meanwhile, the MPs did not have problems with Anthony Gyambiby, Deputy Attorney-General, as the nominee was described as a highly competent person for the job.
Former Attorney-General Papa Owusu-Ankomah said, “I have worked with Gyambiby and I have no doubt about his competence and in fact he is considered to be one of the best lawyers in the country”.