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Parliament Approves Oil Deal Without A Quorum?
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Mrs Joyce Bamford Addo - Speaker of parliament
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Ghana’s Parliament appears to have approved a major international oil agreement in spite of the fact that the number of Members present did not form a quorum.

Less than 60 MPs, were said to be on the floor of the House at the time the agreement was approved on Friday, February 19.

Article 102 of the 1992 Constitution provides that a quorum of Parliament, apart from the person presiding, shall be one-third of all the Members of Parliament.

It means therefore that at least 77MPs should have been in the House at the time the report of the Energy Committee on the agreement was being debated.

The approved agreement is between the Government of Ghana, the Ghana National Petroleum Authority, Gulf Atlantic Energy Ltd and Mitsui E and P Ghana Keta Limited.

By the agreement, Afren is to have 68 percent stake in the Keta basin in the event that oil is discovered there is in commercial quantities, Mitsui is entitled to 20 percent; GNPC 10 percent and Gulf Atlantic Energy 2 percent.

Former Deputy Energy Minister, Hon K.T Hammond had earlier derailed moves to approve the agreement after raising serious issues of due diligence and questioned the basis for the interest structure of the partners.

His concerns forced the Speaker, Justice Bamford Addo, to direct the Parliamentary Committee on Energy to take a second look at the multi-million-dollar agreement to ensure all the vexed issues were addressed.

When the report of the Committees was brought back before the House on Friday, February 19, the Chairman of Committee, Hon. Moses Asagah, told the House that the vexed issues raised by the Adansi Asokwa Member of Parliament had been taken care of, paving way for the House to rectify the agreement.

Citi News is reliably informed that in view of the seeming lack of quorum in the House at the time that the agreement was approved, the Minority in Parliament would most likely question the constitutionality or otherwise of the decision when they return to the House on Tuesday, February 23.

The Minority side was not in the house at the time the agreement was passed. They had boycotted proceedings to protest last Thursday's arrest and subsequent detention of Nana Darkwa Baafi, an NPP social commentator, who made unsubstantiated claims that former President Jerry John Rawlings deliberately set his ridge residence on fire.
Source: Citifmonline.com

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