Parliament failed to reach consensus on the approval of the nominations of Mr Anthony Gyambiby and Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Agyeman as the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources respectively.
Even though the Appointments Committee had recommended to the House for the approval of the nominations of the two by consensus, some members of the committee expressed strong dissenting views on the floor of the House.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, who is also the Chairman of the committee, therefore had no other option than to accede to the demand of some MPs that a secret balloting should be conducted to determine the fate of the two nominees.
“Honourable members, since the committee did not recommend the approval of the two nominees by a majority decision, we did not prepare for a secret balloting to approve the nomination of the two,” he said and deferred the secret balloting for another time.
For the first time, the Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, sided with members on the Majority side and made gestures to Mr Adjaho to rule for the “yes” voice vote while his backbenchers, led by Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah (Atwima Mponua) and Dominic Nitiwul (Bimbilla), advocated strongly for more debate on the issue and secret balloting.
Again, this is the first time in recent years that the House is resorting to secret voting after the Appointments Committee has recommended to the plenary to approve the nomination of the President by consensus.
During the debate, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, NPP MP for Sekondi, described Mr Gyambiby as “an astute prosecutor”, who would be useful to the NDC administration.
He said he was, however, saddened by the performance of Mr Owusu-Agyeman, grading him 40 per cent.
“At this injury time, if anybody is being brought into the President’s team, he should be someone who will bring an extraordinary skill on board. I am surprised that the Appointments Committee recommended his nomination for approval by consensus”.
Members who opposed the nomination of Mr Owusu-Agyeman based their arguments on the several errors and inaccuracies in the curriculum vitae (CV) submitted to the committee.
During the vetting he admitted, for instance, that he did not complete the Masters Degree (MSc) course and therefore did not hold that certificate as erroneously included in the CV.
The committee requested him to clean his CV and resubmit it .
The PNC MP for Sissala West, Mr Haruna Bayirga , who is a member of the Appointments Committee, also expressed his strong reservation against the approval of Mr Owusu-Agyeman, explaining that there was no need to shield the nominee since he had a lot of shortfalls.
“The shortfalls of the nominee should be told and he should not be allowed to go through because he was nominated by the President,” he said, adding that “it will be difficult for me to approve his nomination.’’
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu , who is the Ranking Member of the Appointments Committee, moved the motion for the approval of the report of committee and was seconded by the NDC MP for Wa West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had to move the motion since the Chairman of the Committee; Mr Adjaho, was presiding over the business of the House and the Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Rashi Pelpuo, who should have undertaken that duty, was not in the country when the two nominees were vetted.
However, Alhaji Pelpuo stated that even though he supported the approval of the nominees, the situation should be a lesson to would-be appointees and advised such people not to take things for granted whenever they were nominated for ministerial appointments.
Summing up the debate, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said since Mr Owusu-Agyeman was humble enough to correct his mistakes and resubmitted his CV, his nomination should be approved.
Even though Mr Adjaho called for a voice vote, he refused to give a verdict and ruled that a secret balloting should be conducted later to determine the fate of the nominees.
But for NPP MP for New Juaben North, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, all the dissenting MPs had no problem with Mr Gyambiby.