The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Ato Forson

A Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, has accused the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta of being dishonest in his responses to questions posed by members of the Adhoc Committee hearing the censure motion against him by the Minority.

On Friday, the Finance Minister appeared before the 8-member Adhoc Committee of Parliament to defend himself.

The allegations raised by the Minority are: Conflict of interest, unconstitutional withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund, illegal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts, deliberate and dishonest misreporting of economic data to Parliament, fiscal recklessness, alarming incompetence and gross mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy.

He responded to the five allegations upheld by the Committee.

But Dr Ato Forson said the Minister failed to respond to the key issues raised by the Minority in their censure motion.

In an interview aired on Joy FM’s Midday News on Monday, Dr Ato Forson said that Mr Ofori-Atta “was dancing around the question and not going to the specifics.”

On the grounds of the unconstitutional withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund, the Ajumako-Enyan Esiam MP said the Finance Minister’s responses to issues relating to the National Cathedral reinforce the issue of dishonesty.

It would be recalled that the Finance Minister denied taking money from the Consolidated Fund to fund the National Cathedral project, adding that he possesses several pieces of evidence to prove his claim. 

He disclosed that the monies that have been disbursed to fund the project were from the contingency vault. 

Reacting to this, Dr Forson said the Finance Minister is “trying to hide from Parliament and the public that the state is paying for the National Cathedral.”

Meanwhile, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta says he is pleased with the decision by the Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee to strike out grounds One and Three of the seven allegations levelled against him.