The Member of Parliament for Tema West, who doubles as the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah, has been slapped with a six-month suspension, by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), for exhibiting a conduct which has dragged the name of the assembly into disrepute.
The decision was made based on a letter received by the Public Relations and Complaints Committee (PRCC) from the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. Felix Mensah Nii Annang-La, which indicated the actions of the MP and two other Assembly members, Christian Yaw Amoah and Dennis Amanor Tetteh.
The Presiding Member, Richard Fiadomor, who chaired the general house yesterday, September 6, in Tema, said the PRCC’s recommendation was guided by the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936) and accompanied by an overwhelming evidence, which showed that Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah had obstructed the assembly from its duty.
5th September, 2017
Assault on Tema Metropolitan Assembly Taskforce By Hon. Carlos Ahinkrah During A Demolishing Exercise On Thursday August 31, 2017.
“Having received several complaints from COCOBOD in Tema, such as the latest attachment about springing up illegal structures around their premises at Tema Community 2, The Tema Metropolitan Assembly finally decided to demolish the unauthorised structures on Thursday August 31, 2017 after repeated demolishing notice went unhindered.
“In the cause of the exercise however, the Member of Parliament of Tema West constituency, Hon Carlos Ahinkrah showed up ostensibly to halt the exercise. He nearly physically assaulted the Metro Works Engineer who was supervising the exercise and promised to visit mayhem on him by asking his constituents to shoot him if he, the engineer, dared to continue with the exercise.
“Due to this serious threat on his life the engineer quickly fled from the scene.
“The behaviour of the honourable MP was obviously unethical to the collective service by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly to restore the metropolis to its former glory days and to further transform it into a vibrant modern industrial city at the centre of the world.
“For this reason I wish to employ the Public Relations and Compliant Committee to probe further into the actions of the honourable MP, in order to avert other similar incidents in the future that have the tendency of discrediting the assembly and thwarting its effort to create a conducive environment for individuals to work and business to operate in a peaceful manner
“The letter was signed by the MCE, Hon. Felix Mensah Nii Annang-La, addressed to the Chairman of PRCC of TMA and copied to the Ministers of Greater Accra Region and Local Government and Rural Development, and the Regional Coordinating Council.
“The Presiding Member (PM) said that a letter dated, 4th September, 2017 was sent to the MP of Tema West to report at an emergency Assembly meeting on the 6thSeptember, 2017, but the invitation was however not honoured, as the MP was absent at the assembly meeting.”
Meanwhile, the other two assembly members were asked to immediately apologise to the MCE through the assembly and also be denied of their next month allowance.
A secret vote was cast by 32 Assembly members to determine the fate of Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah, 25 voted YES and 9 voted NO and, on that note, the PM announced to the assembly that the Tema West MP had been suspended for six months and, for that period, he will have no official dealings with the assembly.
Relatively, the MP for Tema East, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, who was present at the general assembly meeting, advised the TMA to educate the public and give prior notice before embarking on any demolition exercise.
This is not the first time a sitting MP has been suspended by TMA, according to records.
Years ago, Mr. Ishmael Ashietey, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tema East, and now Greater Accra Regional Minister, on Monday described his suspension from the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA), saying he has not committed any offence that warrants an apology as is being demanded.
In a statement in Accra in reaction to TMA’s decision to suspend him for refusing to apologise, he said: “To my best knowledge, I have not committed any offence, whatsoever, to warrant any apology of any kind to any person or institution.”
The MP has been suspended for two consecutive sessions for refusing to render the apology.
Mr. Ashietey explained that at a press soiree for newsmen in December 1997, he took the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Nii Armah Ashietey, to task for several administrative lapses.
These, he alleged, included diversions, misappropriations and illegalities in the conduct of the TEXPO Project at Baatsona and the administration of the Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) of the assembly.
“As it is to be expected, the different press houses reported the meeting differently. Some rightly referred to the chief executive as the target of my accusations, while others merely stated the executive.”
Mr. Ashietey said TMA’s sub-committee on complaints and public relations assigned its secretary to provide the house with all the newspapers that reported the soiree. This was to enable it to take a decision as to whether he had imputed wrongdoing against the integrity of the chief executive or the executive of the TMA.
“As at this day, the secretary is yet to produce the publications and neither has the TMA approached the two private newspapers, (the Ghanaian Voice and the Ghanaian Chronicle) which reported on the issue. “What I know has precipitated this undemocratic decision propelled by blackmail and arm-twisting by some interested persons at the TMA is that there have been diversions, misappropriations and illegalities in the conduct of the TEXPO project and the administration of the PAF.”
Giving figures to back these allegations, Mr. Ashietey said an initial amount of 298 million cedis approved by the Tender Board for construction of the TEXPO wall and gate was doubled from 600 million cedis to 1.2 billion cedis. This was done without the involvement of or approval by the TMA Board, of which he is a member.
He said neither the chief executive nor the Board has the authority to approve any project worth 1.2 billion cedis, which is a prerogative of the Regional Tender Board. Mr. Ashietey challenged the Chief Executive to provide a document with his (MP’s) signature as having deliberated on the 600 million cedis or the 1.2 billion cedis as is the normal practice.
He said in 1997 and 1998, TMA’s share of the district assemblies’ common fund was 4.456 billion cedis, out of which approximately 900 million cedis was set aside for the PAF.
“Till now, the Chief Executive has not answered questions in which account or bank the money has been lodged since it cannot be traced at the Bank of Ghana.” Mr. Ashietey said the Metropolitan Chief Executive must also tell the people of Tema and the country, who the beneficiaries of the amount are, the outstanding balance and produce the full statement of account on PAF from 1997 to date.
He added: “by this statement, I am alerting the Serious Fraud Office and the office of the auditor-general to conduct thorough investigations into the TEXPO project and TMA’s PAF.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Joyce Martey