Anti-corruption campaigner, Sydney Casely-Hayford, has lashed out at members of Parliament’s Appointments Committee for dragging the vetting process of Martin A.B.K. Amidu.
According to him, about 80% of the questions asked by the members of the committee were not necessary and irrelevant to the position Mr Amidu had been nominated for.
Mr Amidu, on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 faced Parliament’s Appointments Committee in what could probably be the longest ever parliamentary vetting session for an individual in the 4th Republic.
The Special Prosecutor nominee responded to over 180 questions from all members of the committee in the over 7-hour long session.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority asked the most questions; making 75% of all queries, with the caucus’ leader, Haruna Iddrisu, being the member who asked the most number of questions.
Commenting on the development on The Big Issue on Citi FM on Saturday, Casely-Hayford said given Mr Amidu’s established competence and repute, the committee could have completed the vetting in about two hours.
“There is absolutely no reason why we should grill somebody for 8 hours for a position that he is going to get anyway… With where Martin Amidu has put his stand as a citizen vigilante and the things he has done and the way the people of this country feel about him, I doubt very much if this country will tolerate a rejection of Martin Amidu’s nomination as the Special Prosecutor…I would say that 80% of the questions that were asked were not necessary and we could have gone home within an hour or two,” Mr Casely-Hayford said.
“I found that we played a little fuss there and it didn’t seem like a necessary thing, especially some of the questions that we were trying to get into; what happened to his ‘O’ and ‘A’ level certificate and all that. This for me was a problem…we frankly needed to simply establish the fact that he is qualified for the job and he is going to do the job… Those for me were the critical things we needed to address,” he added.
A member of the Appointments Committee, Mahama Ayariga, in an earlier interview had suggested that the lengthy vetting was necessary for the minority, in particular, to ascertain whether Martin Amidu could indeed carry out the mandate.
He however, added that the caucus had unanimously agreed to pass him prior to the exercise.
He noted that the posture of the minority, who asked most of the questions during the vetting, was to indicate that they were not scared about the appointment of Martin Amidu as had been suggested by some observers.
The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, who said there was no prior decision to approve the nominee, however, contradicted Mr Ayariga’s comments.
He however, added that minority’s conduct was to ensure they did not sound or appear emotional because Mr. Amidu is known to be a vehement critic of the NDC.
Story: Edward BLAGOGEE
Writer’s email: edwardblagogee.com