Thursday, July 7, 2016

50 MPs lead campaign to impeach Mahama over Ford saga


New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmakers in Ghana’s Legislature have started collecting signatures of Members in the House in a bold move that insiders say could lead to a push for impeachment proceedings against President John Dramani Mahama.

By close of work on 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.

The latest development has effectively pushed the campaign to force President Mahama out of office over the car gift controversy towards a potentially explosive climax.

However, other insiders say, depending on the appetite of members, the Minority may simply press for a motion calling for Parliamentary investigations into the Ford Expedition saga instead of pushing for the President’s impeachment.

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 cars stationed the presidency.

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

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.

We’ll resist probe into Mahama’s ford gift – Majority MPs 

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

Can the Minority MPs remove the President?

Meanwhile, 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.

By: Richard Dela Sky/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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