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No Show At Ghana@ 50

Justice Douse

Justice Douse

THE PRESIDENTIAL Commission of Inquiry probing the activities of Ghana@ 50 Secretariat yesterday disappointed hordes of journalists and a few loyal spectators when it failed to sit for its scheduled programme.

Jonathan Ato Kobbie, the Press Liaison Officer of the Commission told journalists that they were unable to sit because a Commissioner of the three-member Commission, Osei Tutu Prempeh was indisposed, creating a problem of quorum for the public hearing.

Former Chief of Staff and Chairman of the National Planning Committee (NPC), a cabinet sub-committee set up to handle the Ghana jubilee celebrations two years ago, Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, who was supposed to give his evidence, informed prodding journalists that he was highly disappointed with the turn of events.

According to the former Minister for Presidential Affairs, he was prepared to assist the Commission with any information that was needed, regretting, “Unfortunately someone is indisposed and we cannot force it”.

Egbert Faibille, counsel for Mpiani said his client has already presented his memorandum to the Commission for its perusal, reiterating they are ready to testify any time possible, as they have nothing to fear.

The former Chief of Staff is now scheduled to appear on Friday October 23, 2009 to give his oral testimony. Meanwhile, DAILY GUIDE has learnt that the Commission has requested for a 6-week extension period to wrap up its findings before presenting the final report to the President.

Press Liaison Officer Jonathan Ato Kobbie has also given the indication that the former Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) will be appearing before the Commission on scheduled dates to be announced soon.

The appearance of the MMDCEs, he pointed out, would begin from next week October 26. He disclosed that 24 of the MMDCEs have so far reported to the Commission after the public announcement to do so last week by the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Isaac Douse.

According to him, the invitation has now been limited to MMDCEs who have been implicated or those against whom allegations have been made during the testimony of the Coordinating Directors.

Having started public hearing about three months ago, the three-member Presidential Commission, which has the powers of a High Court is made up of Mr. Justice Isaac Douse of the Court of Appeal as Chairman, with former Auditor-General Mr. Osei Tutu Prempeh and Mrs. Marrietta Brew Appiah-Opong, a legal practitioner, as members was established by President John Atta Mills on June 1, 2009 under Article 278 clause 1 (a) of the 1992 constitution.

It also has Mrs. Barbara Tetteh-Charway and Mrs. Evelyn Keelson as Counsel/Secretaries. As its terms of reference, the Commission is to inquire into and report within three months, allegations of improper use of public or any other funds; inquire into the use by the Secretariat of any property, movable and immovable.

The Commission is also to inquire into any other matter which appears to be accidental to or reasonably related to Ghana@ 50 celebrations, which in the opinion of the Commission ought to be enquired into; and to make recommendations in respect of its own findings of fact.

Source: Ghanamma.com

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