‘You are setting a bad precedent’ – Afenyo-Markin to Public Account Committee Chairman
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu constituency, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, has advised the Public Account Committee (PAC)of Parliament to thread on cautious grounds as it seeks to fight corruption.
With the Committee’s Chairman ordering the arrest of two civil servants who appeared before over financial malfeasance, the MP who is also a member of the PAC says although the zeal to fight corruption requires the support of all and especially parliamentarians, rules and due process must be followed.
“The chairman is zealous. He wants to do the right thing but the rules must be followed,” he said on Citi Eyewitness News monitored by theghanareport.com
The vociferous MP’s concern comes on the back the PACs order to arrest two persons that appeared before it today over irregularities.
The two persons; Isaac Akowaah, a former District Finance Officer and James Esilfie, the current District Finance Officer of the Sefwi Akontombra Assembly in the then Western Region were accused of conniving to lie to the committee over irregularities cited in the report when they appeared before the committee on Monday.
After the first meeting officials from the assembly last week, PAC raised questions about some 62 payment vouchers that could not be accounted for.
After further enquiries, PAC could only trace nine of the payment vouchers.
During that meeting, the assembly was asked to recall the former District Finance Officer, who had been transferred outside the district, to reappear on Monday and explain the absence of the vouchers.
After checks with the auditors, following Isaac Akowaah’s testimony, the committee felt that the accounts being given were not adding up which made Mr James Klutse Avedzi, PAC chairman, to order the arrests.
“You want to hold the committee to ransom; that the two of you connived to try and deceive this committee…we are going to lock you up.”
“The police will take a statement from you and that statement will be used against you in the law court. We [the Public Accounts Committee] will not prosecute you. [Instead] The government will take over [this case],” Mr Avedzi said as reported by citinewsroom.com.
Reacting to the order, Mr Markin said, the Chairman of PAC should have followed due process by filing an official complaint to the police.
“If the committee feels offended by the conduct of a person before it, the community must complain, ordering the arrest of an individual is an abuse of the people rights, this is a bad precedent” he argued.