Parliament approves Oppong Nkrumah, Tangaba Abayage as ministers

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Parliament has given approval for the appointment of Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah as Minister of Information.

Also approved to be appointed as Minister of Gender is Cynthia Morrison and four others as ministers and deputy ministers.

Members of the Majority and Minority described the nominees as competent individuals who had the work experience and intelligence to deliver in their respective ministries.

The approval followed the presentation of the report of the Appointments Committee of Parliament (ACP), which recommended by consensus, the approval of the nominees.

They are Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah for the Ministry of Information, Cynthia Morrison for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Mr Evans Opoku Bobie for the Brong Ahafo Region.

The rest are Mrs Paulina Tangaba Abayage for the Upper East Region, Mr Martin Oti-Gyarko, Deputy Minister nominee for the Brong Ahafo Region, and Mr Samuel Nuertey Ayertey, deputy minister nominee for Eastern Region.

Constitutional arguments 

There was a constitutional debate between the Majority and Minority sides regarding nomination of Mr Oti-Gyarko as deputy minister for Brong Ahafo.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said per Article 256 and Article 79, the President was supposed to consult the substantive regional minister before nominating Mr Oti-Gyarko.

However, he said, when Oti-Gyarko was being nominated there was no substantive minister for the Brong Ahafo Region as the substantive minister, Mr Asumah Cheremeh, had been moved to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Mr Iddrisu said he would go to the Supreme Court to seek interpretation to the Article 256 and Article 79 on the requirement for the President to consult substantive ministers before nominating their respective deputy ministers.

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, supported the position that the nomination of Mr Oti-Gyarko was unconstitutional because there was no consultation with the minister.

But the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the MP for Abuakwa South, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, and the Chairman of the CAP, disagreed with that position and indicated that the President acted within the ambit of the Constitution.

Mr Atta Akyea said the use of the ‘may’ in respect to the consultation meant that the President had the discretion to consult the minister or not.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the Presidrnt had consulted the substantive regionsl minister a day before he was reshuffled to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Giving his ruling, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, said the use of “shall ‘ was always mandatory while the use of ‘may” was permissible.

Therefore, he said, it was a matter of discretion for the President to consult a substantive minister before nominating his deputy but not mandatory.

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