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Mpiani Rubbishes Ishmael Yamson Committee   
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Former Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, has described as absurd, the review by the Ishmael Yamson Committee (IYC) Report of the Chinery Hesse Committee (CHC) Report on Emoluments, which was approved by the former President and the last Parliament.

According to him, the Atta Mills Administration should not mock the good people of Ghana by playing pranks with their conscience.

In a statement of response to the IYC report yesterday, the former Chief of Staff said he found it odd that while the President knew he had no powers under the constitution to overturn a Parliamentary decision, he still believed he could delegate powers to others to overturn it on his behalf.

“I think President Mills and his advisors are overstepping their constitutional authority. Even the President cannot overturn or review a parliamentary decision; how much less a committee appointed by him?”

Punching holes in the formation of the IYC and the report that came out of it, he said the government was embarking on a wild-goose chase by alleging that the CHC report did not get parliamentary approval.

“The thrust of the IYC report is the wild assertion that neither ex-President Kufuor nor the last Parliament approved the applicable portions of the recommendations in the CHC report despite the clear evidence in support of approval. This conclusion of the IYC is obviously predetermined, arrived at by engaging in nitpicking on non-essential aspects of the volume of available facts, and ignoring the essential facts”.

He recalled that even though the former Speaker of Parliament stated categorically that he had received a remittal letter from his office, and some of the Parliamentary leadership also admitted seeing and acting on the letter and the report it transmitted, President Mills and his advisors insisted there was no such letter.

“After a copy of the letter appeared in the press, President Mills’ advisors, in shock, quickly called for the security agencies to investigate. They thought they had succeeded in making the letter ‘disappear’, and could not believe they had failed their boss.” He said the claim that the CHC report had two versions was funny and wondered how the knowledgeable Yamson team could make that assertion.

Mr. Mpiani said soon after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lost power, some members of the new administration stormed his office and removed some documents there. But hard as they tried to play mischief, they could not succeed.

“First, upon assumption of power, I am informed that President Mills Transition team quickly went and removed all files from my former office to God knows where, and proceeded to claim that they could not trace or find the transmittal letter.

“Incidentally, that is the same letter that conveyed the ex-President’s approval of the portion of the CHC recommendations subject to his approval. How convenient. If there is no proof of approval, there is nothing to implement”. The former minister said since President Mills assumed power, he and his advisors made an issue of the approvals regarding the CHC report and tried to hide the presidential approval document.

According to him, it was when that strategy failed that the Yamson Committee was appointed to find a respectable way out. He however had a problem with the report.

“Surely, the very savvy and astute IYC would know that a final report would go through several drafts before it is completed. I bet if the BNI were to seize all the records of the work of the IYC, several drafts and versions of its final report to the President would be uncovered. Would that make the May 31, 2009 version any less authentic?” He insisted the CHC had only one report, which was presented to the president in December 2008.

Mr. Mpiani jested that even lay people knew that under the 1992 constitution, only the Judiciary can review parliamentary decisions or enactment to determine whether such enactment comply with the constitution or not. It would be recalled that the present administration tasked the IYC to review the report of the CHC, but Mpiani expressed the strong view that the attempt was simply aimed at creating a constitutional crisis in the country. The IYC was submitted to President Mills on May 31, 2009.
Source: Daily Guide

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