ASEPA has petitioned the President to remove Speaker of Parliament “for stated misbehaviour contrary to the public procurement laws of Ghana, abuse of power and corruption.”
ASEPA avers that Prof Ocquaye unilaterally forced Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make funds available for the controversial 450-seater parliamentary chamber and selected an architect to proceed with the project even though Parliament had not concluded discussions on the matter.
Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson, said he has petitioned the President to remove the Speaker “for violating the public procurement procedures of this country and for abuse of office and alleged malpractices”.
Drop that chamber
Parliament on Monday dropped a planned project to build a new and expanded chamber after a week-long public opposition.
A statement confirming the decision to discontinue the project indicated that “the [Parliamentary Services] Board, has, upon reviewing representations made to it by well-meaning Ghanaians, accordingly taken the development of the new Chamber block out of its present agenda.”
A cross-section of Ghanaians expressed anger on local media outlets and social media – with the hashtag ‘Drop that chamber’ – at the proposal of the chamber that was estimated to cost $200 million.
In the petition to remove the Speaker, ASEPA asked, “why did the Speaker of Parliament commence the production of the designs without any competitive tender process and the necessary approvals from the Public Procurement Authority in accordance with the PPA Act? On whose indication, Mr President, did the Finance Ministry also make budgetary allocations for the construction of this new chamber and why has money been spent on the project already, which has now been suspended following a huge public outcry?”
The petition signed Mr Thompson further stated: “Mr President, as a public accountability advocacy group, we have no shred of doubt considering the evidence available on this new chamber saga that the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, acted in bad faith, failed to consult extensively on a capital intensive project, which has now led to loss of money by the state following the suspension of the project and also breached our public procurement laws by single-handedly handpicking an architect to design the prototype for the new chamber without any tender process.”