The Minority members of the Mines and Energy Committee Parliament will be boycotting deliberations on the urgent motion filed by the Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, K.T. Hammond, for the government to reverse its decision on the AMERI power agreement.
“We the Minority Members of the Mines and Energy committee have decided, upon careful consideration of all relevant facts, not to take part in the deliberation of the committee in respect of the urgent motion filed by K.T. Hammond,” the Minority’s spokesperson on the committee, Adams Mutawakilu revealed in a Citi News interview.
He said the Minority wanted no part of any bad precedent, as far as Parliamentary practice was concerned.
“There is no part, section or rule of the standing orders that allows for a motion to be referred to a committee after it has been moved and seconded to without deliberation by the House. This cannot be found in the current standing orders or standing orders of the House since independence,” Mr. Mutawakilu explained.
The MP further said K.T. Hammond did not have any standing in the matter.
“It is strange the honorable K.T. Hammond, who is not a party to the agreement is requesting Parliament to rescind its decision on the basis of gross misrepresentation. K.T. Hammond has no locus standi in this matter… In the overall circumstances of this matter, we think his request should not be honored.”
Aside from this, the Minority feels the government has been too quiet on the question of the AMERI deal.
“It is surprising that government, which is a party to this agreement has remained silent on its position. We, therefore, call on the government to come clear on its position with regards to the agreement,” Mr. Mutawakilu said.
The approval of this motion came at a time the Minority felt it was being undermined by the Speaker of Parliament.
The Minority staged a walk out of Parliament in August, over the Speaker’s decision to forward the motion to the Energy Committee without input from them.
K.T. Hammond, who was the ranking member of the Energy Committee of Parliament in 2015 when the deal was approved, filed an urgent motion seeking the reversal of the deal because of his conviction that the deal was suspicious, based on some fresh information available to him.
The John Mahama administration in 2015 agreed to rent the 300MW of emergency power from AMERI at the peak of the country’s power crisis.
As part of the deal, AMERI was to build the power plants and operate them for five years before transferring it to the government.
The deal cost $510 million, and received parliamentary approval on 20th March, 2015. It later emerged that the government had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget.