The Minority in parliament today clashed with the Speaker during the House’s debate on a GH₵134m tax waiver to Platinum Properties Limited, a company allegedly belonging to the cousin of President Akufo-Addo.
The drama began during the presentation of the Finance Committee’s report on the GH₵134 million cedis tax waiver to the said company for the construction of a hotel facility.
A Member of Parliament (MP) for Yapei, Hon. John Jinapor, in his submission on the report, referred to the hotel as Akufo-Addo hotel relating to the fact that the owner is a cousin to the president.
He added that the move is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The Minister of Information and MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi Kojo Oppong Nkrumah demanded a retraction from Hon. Jinapor for referring to the project as ‘Akufo-Addo hotel’.
He further requested the Speaker to exercise his power to expunge the statement made by Jinapor from today’s records.
However, the Minority Whip and MP for Asawase, Hon. Muntaka Mubarak expressed his dissatisfaction with the minister’s request, saying the Speaker has no authority to expunge any member’s comments or remarks from the records.
“Our rules are very clear and I will be very happy if you can educate us, under which rule are you asking a statement made by a member to be withdrawn and expunged from our records…
“You may disagree with what the person said, you can get the person to withdraw as a Speaker but to be asked the comments to be expunged, it is not part of the authorities the Standing Orders have empowered you to do,” Hon. Mubarak said.
He added that the request is an abuse of the Standing Orders of parliament.
Ruling on the matter, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aaron Mike Oquaye indicated that it is within his power to exercise his discretionary powers in some circumstances and in this case, since Hon. Jinapor is not present to withdraw his statement.