MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon Members --
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I rise to seek your leave to call for the alteration of Business as set out in today's Order Paper in order for us to deal with the item numbered 4 on the Order Paper - - Presentation of Papers. Mr Speaker, this is to have the Report of the Appointments Committee on His Excellency the President's nomination of Mr Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu for appointment as Special Prosecutor be laid now.
Mr Speaker, thank you. Mr Speaker, rightly so. It was in the Business Statement that it would be laid and taken today. So, we have no objection to it.
Hon Members, leave is hereby granted for the order of Business to be varied. Hon Members, the item numbered 4 on the Order Paper -- Presentation of Papers. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, as you do know, Hon Vice Chairmen and even members of the Committee could lay any document on behalf of the Committee. You are indeed the Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee, but unfor- tunately, you cannot lay the document on behalf of the Committee from where you sit today. So, any member -- Indeed, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is the Hon Vice- Chairperson of the Committee and so you may invite her to do that on behalf of the Committee.
Hon Vice Chairperson of the Appointments Committee, kindly lay the Committee's Report on behalf of the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, we would return to the item numbered 2 on the Order Paper -- Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report. Hon Members, we have the Votes and Proceedings for Friday, 16th February, 2018, for correction. Pages 1, 2, 3 … 6 --
Mr Speaker, we are considering the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 16th February, 2018, and we are at page 6. Mr Speaker, I believe that it is instructive to observe that on that day, 202 Hon Members were in the Chamber. Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
Hon Minority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, this is one area about which we had always argued. This is because he would remember that, that day the issue of quorum was raised, and we recorded the Hon Members who were in the House. That had been a major challenge for us. However, as of the time that some of the decisions were taken, the issue of quorum was raised but it was ignored. So, we should not use the Votes and Proceedings now to try to correct what had been done.
Hon Minority Chief Whip, I was not in the House at the time you said the issue of quorum was raised. If we had to determine who were present in the House, what would be the basis?
Mr Speaker, it came to a point that we even wanted a headcount, but that was denied. Mr Speaker, if you would remember, in this House, there had been times that all we did to record attendance to the House was to go to the mails room. But a Speaker ruled that signing in the mails room did not mean one was present. It takes those who are physically present in the Chamber. And it became the rule. So, for over eight years, I have not gone to the mails room to sign anything, but my name is always recorded. It is because they sit there and try to identify who are present in the Chamber. Mr Speaker, as of the time we were taking decisions, we raised the issue of quorum but it was ignored; we called for headcount and it was also ignored. We were 66 in number in this Chamber.
Very well. Hon Majority Leader, let me hear you.
Mr Speaker, I believe the issues raised are rather innocuous. I am just saying that on that day there were 202 Hon Members here. And for the records, nobody raised any issue about headcount in this House on Friday. We should be factual here. Mr Speaker, nobody raised any issue about quorum here, and for the records, the Hansard captured it. Nobody raised any issue about headcount.
I believe this is a point where I would call on the Leaders to be sure of their Members whose names are here, but did not appear in the Chamber, are pointed out, so that we exclude them from the list. Otherwise, we would continue to have these controversies where people go and sign their names at the mails room but do not come to the Chamber. So, I ask the Whips, in particular, to assist us so that those who are not here are truly marked as not being and should not be marked as being present. Anytime there is the issue of quorum or Hon Members being present to be recognised as being in attendance, it becomes controversial.
Yes, Hon Member for Ayensuano?
Mr Speaker, we are talking about those who signed, but for one reason or another, they were not counted in the Chamber. I was also in the Chamber last Friday and took part in proceedings, but because I attended a programme outside Parliament and came a bit late and could not sign the attendance book, my name was marked as absent. But I came here; I attended a programme, went for Committee sitting, came back to the Chamber, but I have been marked as absent. So, as we look at those who signed but did not come to the Chamber, we should also look at those who came into the Chamber, took part in activities in the Chamber but did not sign the attendance book.
Very well. The Table Office would take note and correct the records.
Mr Speaker, on page 7, I was in the Chamber but I am recorded as having been absent with permission.
Very well. The Table Office would take note and make the necessary correction.
Mr Speaker, I can see the red light blinking over there, and it probably might signify something that we need to take note of.
Very well. The Marshall should investigate and advise the House as urgently as possible. Page 9 --
None Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I was absent with permission on Friday, but I have been marked as absent. It is on page 8. [Interruption.]
Hon Members, there is too much noise in the Chamber, I cannot hear the Hon Member on the floor? Please, kindly resume your seat, Hon Member for Mampong. Yes, Hon Member, can I hear you?
Mr Speaker, I was absent with permission on Friday, but on page 8, I have been marked as absent.
Kindly guide us on what your name is and the number.
Mr Speaker, number 17 on page 8 of the Votes and Proceedings.
On page 8, you have been marked as absent but you were absent with permission?
Yes. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Very well. The records would be checked and the appropriate corrections made. Hon Members, subject to the corrections, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 16th February, 2018 is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Yes, Hon Member for Atiwa East?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I was here on Friday, but I have been marked absent.
Where were you? We have already adopted the proceedings. Kindly liaise with the Table Office to make the appropriate corrections.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader? Hon Members, as you recall, I directed the Marshall to investigate the lickering of the fire alarm. The report is that, there was a power trip that has affected the alarm system. There is no threat of fire in the House. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we thought that we could deal with the item listed as number 5 on the Order Paper; that is the adoption of the Report -- Motion listed as item numbered 7. My understanding is that the Speaker has not finished his consultation with the delegation that came to visit him this morning, so you are not able to leave the chair. So, I do not know whether you would permit the Vice-Chairman to move the Motion. Mr Speaker, if you are so minded --
If Mr Speaker is not here and work must go on, I would not mind at all, but we would have to start from the Motion numbered 6 on the Order Paper.
Very well. Hon Member, item numbered 6 -- Motion.
Are you seconding the Motion?
Mr Speakerr, no.
Then kindly resume your seat. When it is seconded, that is when something would have been deemed to be before the House for discussion.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Hon Member for Bolgatanga East?
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of Order, and I am referring to Order 93 (1) of the Standing Orders of Parliament. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would read the Standing Order. It says;
Hon Members, order! Let us listen to the objection.
Mr Speaker, may I take the Order again. It says; “Reference shall not be made to any matter on which judicial decision is pending in such a way as may, in the opinion of Mr Speaker, prejudice the interest of the parties to the action”. Mr Speaker, I am inviting your good- self to make a determination humbly on this matter in respect of the matter which is pending before the Supreme Court on the qualification -- [Interruption]-- or eligibility of the nominee who is the subject matter of the Report. Mr Speaker, on the 12th of February this year, I filed a matter before the Supreme Court in lawsuit number J1/5/2018. Mr Speaker, our Standing Orders require that you make this determination with respect to whether the discussion or debate in this matter would not be prejudicial to the interest of the parties. Mr Speaker, since this matter touches directly on the qualification or eligibility of the nominee, and in view of the fact that the Supreme Court is seized with proper jurisdiction on this yet-to-be- determined matter and Parliament has been given notice -- In fact, I caused my counsel to serve Parliament notice of the pendency of the lawsuit. I humbly request Mr Speaker to make a determination in this matter, because any discussion or debate may raise matters or make comments that are either adverse to the appointment or that support the appointment. Mr Speaker, because this touches on the sub judice rule, I did some research on the matter, and I would like to refer Mr Speaker --
Before you continue, what is the matter before the House now? The Motion that was moved, what is it about? How would the discussion of this Motion affect anybody?
Mr Speaker, the Motion that has been moved is for the approval by this House of the nomination and appointment --
Hon Member, you were not paying attention. Kindly check Motion number 6 on the Order Paper. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, this intervention, with respect to my Hon Colleague, is totally out of tune with our processes. Mr Speaker, the Motion before us is procedural, so, he is totally out of order. Mr Speaker, Standing Order 91 provides for where an Hon Member could interrupt any debate on the floor, that is why I am saying that his intervention is completely out of tune with the procedures. Mr Speaker, so, you can rule him out of order and we can go on.
Hon Member, before you move the Motion, kindly let us acknowledge the delegation from the Parliament of Uganda.
Hon Members, I have the pleasure of introducing to you an eight-Member Delegation of the Appointments Committee from the Parliament of Uganda who are on-one-week study visit to Ghana. They are here, among others, to benchmark best practices in the functioning of the Appointments Committee and in the discharge of its duties in the vetting and approval process of presidential nominations for appointments. The visit is also intended to create the platform for promoting networking between Members and our Ugandan counterparts with the aim of deepening relations between the two Legislatures. The delegation comprises the following: Hon Alum Santa Ogwang, Leader of the delegation; Hon Ssewungu Joseeph Gonzaga, Member; Hon Yeri Ofwono Apollo, Member Hon Adoa Hellen, Member; Hon Rwabushaija Margaret, Member; Mr Biribonwoha Pius Perry, Director, Legal; Ms Geria Beatrice Gladys, Administrator Assistant; and Ms Kamayangi Glorious, Clerk Assistant-Secretary to the delegation. We wish them a fruitful visit to Ghana. Yes, Hon Majority Leader? Hon Members, at this stage, Mr Speaker would take the Chair.
Order! Hon Members, the item numbered 7 on the Order paper -- Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee? Hon Members, the Hon First Deputy Speaker who is the Chairman of the Committee is taking his seat. Yes, Hon First Deputy Speaker, the item numbered 7 on the Order paper.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, with respect, I note that you have taken over from the Hon First Deputy Speaker. Mr Speaker, when the Motion numbered 6 was moved, the Hon Dr Ayine sought to invoke Standing Order 93 to elucidate your ruling on this matter. Mr Speaker, once you have moved to the Motion numbered 7, I would wish that you would accommodate him -- [Interruption] -- We are now on the Motion numbered 7. Mr Speaker is inviting the Hon First Deputy Speaker, who is the Hon Chairman -- [Interruption]-- This is the appropriate time for him to raise the objection. It is for Mr Speaker to accommodate him and take a decision on the matter.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, Mr First Deputy Speaker, please, move the Motion numbered 7 on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, I rise to move, that this Honourable House adopt the Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the President's nomination of Mr Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu for appointment as Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present the Committee's Report. Introduction In accordance with section 13(3) of the Office of Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) which states that: “The Attorney-General shall nominate a person qualified for appointment as Special Prosecutor by the President, subject to the approval of the majority of all the Members of Parliament”. Accordingly, H. E. the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,exercising his due prero- gative communicated to Parliament on Wednesday, 24th January, 2018, the nomination of Mr Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu as Special Prosecutor by the Attorney-General. Consequently, the nomination was referred to the Appointments Committee by Mr Speaker, Prof. Michael Aaron Oquaye for consideration and report pursuant to Order 172 of the Standing Orders of the House. Reference documents The Committee referred to the under- listed documents during its deliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution; ii. The Standing Orders of Parlia- ment; iii.The Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959); and
Order! Consideration of the Referral
Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 172 (3) of the Standing Orders of the House, the Committee in the first instance, caused to be published in newspapers of national circulation, the name of the nominee and notice of the Committee's Public Hearing for the attention of the general public. The publication further requested memoranda from the general public if any, on the nominee. The Committee subsequently obtained Confidential Reports on the nominee from the Ghana Police Service and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) as part of its background checks. A Tax Status Report was also obtained from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). A Public Hearing was thereafter held on Tuesday, 13th February, 2018 to consider the nomination. At the commencement of proceedings, the nominee subscribed to the Oath of a Witness and subsequently answered questions relating to his Curriculum Vitae, matters relating to his eligibility, issues pertaining to the office to which he has been nominated and other issues of national concern. The Committee has duly considered the nomination and reports as follows: Background Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu was born on 6th September, 1951 in Kadema in the Upper East Region. He attended the Presbyterian Memorial Primary School, Takoradi, from 1956-1959. He then went to Lawra Primary Boarding School for one academic term in 1959. From 1959 to 1962, he attended St. Anthony's Primary School in Bawku and subsequently the Bawku Middle Boarding School from 1962 to 1966, where he obtained a Middle School Leaving Certificate. He attended a Commercial School in Tamale from 1966 to 1971. However, he obtained his GCE O' Level Certificate as a private candidate in Navrongo in 1970. He proceeded to Navrongo Secondary School from 1971 to 1973 for his “A” Level Certificate and again obtained his Certificate as a private candidate in Tamale in 1972. Mr Amidu enrolled at the University of Ghana in 1973 and read Law. He was awarded an LLB in 1976 and subsequently enrolled at the Ghana School of Law in 1976 and was called to the Ghana Bar in 1978. In 1999, he enrolled at the Antioch University McGregor, Ohio, USA and was awarded an M. A. in Conflict Resolution in 2001. Mr Martin Amidu worked at Bawku Secondary School during the 1978 and 1979 academic year for his National Service. From 1979 to 1980, he was a Private Legal Practitioner in Bawku. He joined Lugu Chambers in Tamale from 1980 to 1983. From February 1982 to December 1982, he was the Chairman for the Committee of Enquiry into the Cotton Development Board. Mr Amidu was appointed the PNDC Deputy Secretary for the Upper East Region from February, 1983 to January 1986. From 1982 to 1988, Mr Amidu was PNDC Deputy Secretary for the Upper East Region, the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development; Industries, Science and Technology and the Volta Region. The nominee also served as the PNDC Deputy Secretary for Justice and Deputy Attorney-General from September 1988 to January 1993. During this period, he doubled as the Chairman of the Public Agreements Board. Mr Amidu was appointed Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice from January 1993 to January 2001. He went back to private legal practice at Amidu Consults from 2002 to 2009. He was appointed the Presidential Advisor on Legal Affairs from July 2009 to February 2010. He became the Minister for the Interior from 2010 - 2011 and finally served as the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, from January 2011 to January 2012. Mr Amidu has been a Public Service Pensioner and a Constitutional Defence Activist from February 2012 to date. He is the Executive Director of the Not for Profit Citizens Vigilance for Justice (CIVIG JUSTICE) since September, 2017. Mr Martin Amidu was the Vice Presidential Candidate for the NDC in the 2000 Presidential Elections. He is a member of the Ghana Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the Association for Conflict Resolution. Response to Questions Acceptance of the President's Nomination The nominee informed the Committee that he accepted the President's nomination as the Special Prosecutor because he wants the good people of Ghana to benefit from the rich resources of this country by blocking the leakages and slippages of the proceeds from the resources of the nation. He stated that his primary aim is to fight corruption and protect the national purse. He added that the fight against corruption is of utmost importance and that fighting the menace of corruption was so important that notwithstanding his views on certain portions of the Bill he was prepared to work with what Parliament has passed into law. Appointment as Special Prosecutor lower than Previous Appointments As to why he accepted the appointment as Special Prosecutor although the Office is lower than his previous appointment as Attorney- General and Minister for Justice, the nominee stated that in 1999 he was nominated to the Supreme Court but he turned down the request. However, he accepted the offer of the Special Prosecutor, because of the passion he had for the fight against corruption which he had done throughout his public life. Perception of Public Image of Nominee In response to why the nominee exudes such an image of fear in public circles, the nominee stated that it was more of a perception than reality and attributed that to the circle of friends he has. He informed the Committee that persons close to him would attest to the fact that he is pleasant and open-minded, an advocate for the poor and very compassionate. He added that in his life works, he has defended people who thought he was an enemy. He indicated that what he detests are people who thrive on cheating. Interpretations Adduced to Writings/ Articles As to what he projects in his articles and writings, the nominee told the
Hon Member, do you have any difficulty?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of Order and I make reference to order 93(1) of the Standing Orders of this House.
“Reference shall not be made to any matter on which judicial decision is pending in such a way as may, in the opinion of Mr Speaker, prejudice the interest of parties to the action.” Mr Speaker, I am drawing the House's attention to a lawsuit that is pending before the Supreme Court, in lawsuit number J1/5/2008 titled Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine vs the Attorney- General and Martin Alamisi Amidu. Mr Speaker, I invite you to make a determination today with respect to the
Hon Member, I would be glad if you would refer to a Ghanaian ruling -- [Uproar.] Hon Members, order! Hon Member, that is the practice in all the courts of competent jurisdiction in the Republic of Ghana. One would start with a Ghanaian authority, then go on to any foreign one by way of persuasion. Hon Member, you may please proceed.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the guidance. You are right on point with respect to the position of the law. Mr Speaker, there was a ruling in this House by the former Speaker, Hon Doe Adjaho — [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, that ruling was to the effect that, a matter that was pending before the High Court, regarding the First Bank issue that was brought before this House, was such that we could not discuss the matter.
Parliamentary Practice which is like our Bible on Parliamentary procedure in this House. If you would prefer that I go -
None Some Members from the Minority Side -- Sit down! Sit down!
Mr Speaker, Erskine May has this to say on the matter; on page 441 -- [Interruption.]
Hon Majority Leader, I would give you a full opportunity to reply. I would feel better if you would allow him to conclude. Hon Member, you should convince me on both the local and the foreign --
Mr Speaker, on page 441 of the 24th edition of Erskine may's book, which was that is published by “LexisNexis” it states as follows: ‘‘Following a recommendation of the joint Committee on Parliamentary privilege, the current resolution governing matters, sub judice, was passed on 15 th November 2011 as follows…” Mr Speaker, I would not read the entire paragraph, but it says that subject to the decision of the Chair, and to the right of the House to legislate on matters or to discuss any delegated legislation, the House, in all its proceedings, including proceedings of Committees of the House shall apply for the following rules on matters sub-judice Mr Speaker, it then says in paragraph (b), sub paragraph (i) that civil proceedings are active when arrangements for a hearing, such as setting down a case for trial, have been made until the proceedings are ended by judgement or determination. Mr Speaker, so once you have determined that the matter is sub judice, and that our discussions and debate of the matter may have a pre-judicial effect on the pending court action, the matter cannot be determined by this House. Mr Speaker, the reason is simple. The Report that is about to be debated touches on and concerns the eligibility or qualification of the nominee that was communicated to this House by the President, and that nominee is the subject matter of the Report to be laid. He is a party to the suit. Mr Speaker, I therefore invite you to make a determination as to whether the discussion or debate of the Report would adversely impact upon the matters that are pending in court.
Hon Member, as counsel, you know that when you want to make any serious reference to a ruling or judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction, you bring the relevant authority physically before the court. Where is your authority? Bring a law report and read it to me, then I would look at it myself. I would not read from your tablet.
Mr Speaker, the said ruling is on the website of the Parliament of New Zealand, and the Speaker's ruling --
Hon Member, when you get to the Supreme Court, you do not talk about websites. You know what we do there.
Mr Speaker, I was of the view that, that would serve as a persuasive authority, and I can furnish the Table Office with hard copies of the ruling afterwards. Mr Speaker, so, if you would indulge me to make reference to the electronic copy, then subsequently, I would supply it to you through the Table Office --
You should persuade me now, or forget about that Authority. Hon Member, any other submission?
Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would want to conclude by saying that, given the architecture and design of separation of powers under our Constitution, Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary are co-equal branches of Government. The courts respect the privileges and immunities of Hon Members of Parliament.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity. First of all, before you came in, an application to the same effect had been made by the Hon Former Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice, which was rubbished. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the application was rejected. [Uproar.]
Hon Majority Leader, withdraw that and make progress.
Mr Speaker, the application -- [Interruptions.]
Order! Hon Members, if you do not stop shouting, I will make a ruling. Hon Members, I hope you are not trying to rule for me. Hon Majority Leader, withdraw that and proceed.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, I withdraw the word “rubbished” and substitute it with “rejected”. The application was rejected by the House.
Mr Speaker, I have withdrawn it.
Wait -- [Interruptions.] Order! The word “rubbished” has been duly withdrawn by the Hon Majority Leader. Hon Majority Leader, proceed.
Mr Speaker, I have already withdrawn “rubbished” and substituted it with “rejected”. Mr Speaker, the same application has been made again, and I call for you to rule that application completely out of order. Mr Speaker, with your permission, Standing Order 81 provides: “Unless otherwise provided in these Orders, every motion unless made at the Second Reading or Consideration Stage of a Bill, must be seconded, and if not seconded shall not be debated or entered in the Votes and Proceedings.” Mr Speaker, the Motion has not even been moved. The person is in the process of moving the Motion, and it must be seconded. Once, it is seconded, one could come in with his or her application; but if the Motion has not been moved, the person is in the process of doing so and one submits an application, Mr Speaker, at that stage, he is completely out of tune with our processes. Mr Speaker, in any event, since he cites examples -- [Interruption.] -- Mr Speaker, since he has related to a precedent, let me walk him through the precedents in this House. In considering the prior approval of Hon Mohammed Mumuni in this House, the matter was before court. At the time, the immediate past Speaker of Parliament was the Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee. The matter was submitted before the Appointments Committee, and he ruled at the Appointments Committee that the matter could continue. Mr Speaker, in the matter of the STX debate in this House, after the Motion had been moved, the then Speaker, Madam Justice Bamford- Addo, to whom the matter had come from the Supreme Court, did not accept it. She said that in her opinion, Parliament could go on; and Parliament indeed went on. Mr Speaker, in the matter of Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) 73, the matter had gone to the Supreme Court for adjudication. Hon Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh drew attention to this in the House, but the then presiding officer, Madam Bamford-Addo, said the matter could not obstruct Parliament from doing what she deemed was right. Mr Speaker, in any event, even in the current application -- the submission to the court is that even if Parliament went ahead to approve it, and in the wisdom of the Supreme Court they felt that the matter was not right and they ruled, whatever Parliament did would then be considered as null and void. Mr Speaker, it is part of the application. So, why this? Mr Speaker, I submit that this application is a complete abuse of the processes of this House. Anytime anybody feels aggrieved and a matter is before the House, that person would then run to the Supreme Court and tie the hands of this House from considering that point. Mr Speaker, that cannot be right. Mr Speaker, our Standing Orders provide, and with your permission the Order that he himself quoted, Order 93 says : “(1) Reference shall not be made to any matter on which judicial decision is pending in such a way as may, in the opinion of Mr Speaker. . .” I thank you very much.
Hon Minority Leader, you may speak. [Interruptions.] Order! Please, let the gesticulations stop. Hon Members, would the gesticula- tions please stop? They do not help healthy parliamentary debates. I do not want to mention names. These gesticulations create bad blood, and Hon Members must learn that parliamentary debate is also a matter of mannerism. Hon Minority Leader, please speak.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity. To paraphrase the Hon Majority Leader -- Mr Speaker, first of all, this House is governed by the Standing Orders. I had a difficulty as he contributed to what he described as incompetence. Standing Order 93 - He used the words “such a way as may”. Let me read it in full: “(1) Reference shall not be made to any matter on which judicial decision is pending in such a way as may, in the opinion of Mr Speaker…” It does not say in the opinion of the Hon Majority Leader or Leader of Government Business. So, he is completely out of order. It is not in his opinion. The Hon Majority Leader is neither in the Chair, nor does he preside. All that Hon Dr Ayine sought to do was to elucidate your opinion which may be guided by precedent. It does not lie in the bosom of the Hon Majority Leader and he should know that.
“It shall be out of order to use offensive, abusive, insulting” Mr Speaker, you rightly ruled, and he withdrew with some hurry. However, he is the Leader of the House and should not be insulting and abusive. Hon Ayine took objection to it; he should not operate that way. Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu does not have to do that. It does not keep the harmony of the House.
I am well instructed in Tufuor vs Attorney-General. Apart from the persuasiveness of an authority, which is of course acceptable, it must yield to authorities binding from home. It is important to realise that when you want to put a case and you know the procedure for so doing, by way of producing your authority at the appropriate time, then please prepare at home before you come to Parliament. Any reference in a court of competent jurisdiction, as we all learnt, must be produced. All Hon Members of this Honourable House must learn it, and when called upon, produce it. It is very important for the progress of work in this House. Secondly, if you look at this, any careful listener would see that Erskine May used “may” and it is applied in the totality of circumstances. We may be guided by such evidence, rule or precedence; but we must be guided advisably. In this particular case, it is notable that the circumstances of the case, the nature of the case in quo, the relief sought for, the state that proceedings have reached, or all such other relevant matters were not brought before this Honourable House. In the Separation of Powers, all three organs must be given their due regard. If the mere filing of a writ in any court would stop Parliament from doing its work, then Parliament is automatically subjugated to the courts. There must be mutual respect between all arms of Government; the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. There is nothing before me this morning to persuade me that the matter allegedly before the court, any matter regarding same or any order by the court alleged today is such that Parliament cannot do its work. Order! Order! We must learn to learn; I mean it. A Motion to be competently moved before this House, must be moved and seconded. Thereafter, an Hon Member may object to anything or make any reference to any demand when moved and seconded. Otherwise, if you anticipate wrongly, this is misconceived, premature and incom- petent procedurally. The Motion is accordingly rejected. Hon First Deputy Speaker, continue.
Mr Speaker, thank you. Preparedness of Nominee for the Position of Special Prosecutor In a response to how prepared he was as the Special Prosecutor, the nominee indicated that all he can do is to pray to God to grant him the needed strength to be able to undertake this responsibility. He stated that, it is God that strengthens him to go through his daily duties. Independence of the Office of the Special Prosecutor The nominee, in response to how independent the officers of the Special Prosecutor would be, assured the Committee that under the Code of Ethics of lawyers in Ghana, Lawyers are under obligation to be independent minded. He stated that as Attorney-General, he never directed any Attorney working under him to handle a case in a particular way. Rather, he made recommendations on how cases should be handled. He told the Committee that the Office of the Special Prosecutor would be unconstitutional unless the Special Prosecutor works under the authority of the Attorney-General. That notwith- standing, as a Lawyer, he told the Committee that he could comfortably work under the authority of the Attorney- General and still be very independent. Fair and Objective Special Prosecutor On how many people who after reading his articles and epistles could confidently think he would be fair and objective as a Special Prosecutor, the nominee assured the Committee that he writes and admonishes people when he thinks they have acted unconstitutionally. He told the Committee that he exercises his rights as a citizen of Ghana and writes to enlighten the public who can appreciate what he writes. Unfortunately, people misunderstand him sometimes. He assured the Committee that his background would not affect his judgement as a Special Prosecutor in any way. He stressed that he would not use his Office to settle personal scores as critics have suggested. Measure of Success as a Special Prosecutor On how he wanted the public to measure his success as a Special Prosecutor, he stated that his success should not be measured by the number of persons he imprisons, but by the integrity that he brings to the Office by prosecuting cases without fear or favour. He indicated that he would want to create an institution that would work to fight corruption and explained that he intends to put in place rigorous mechanisms for the vetting and appointment of personnel of the Office. He assured the Committee that he will prosecute and retrieve monies from corrupt individuals.
Co-operation with other Public institutions (Section 73 of Act 959) On co-operation and collaboration with other anti-corruption institutions such as the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in which he appears to have no confidence, Mr Martin Amidu indicated to the Committee that the Act enjoined him to collaborate and cooperate with institutions in information sharing and dissemination. He maintained that the fight against corruption involves team work and sharing of ideas among all stakeholders and anti-corruption institutions. He indicated that he would review all cases emanating from collaborative institutions and satisfy himself that they meet the threshold for prosecution set by the Office of the Special Prosecutor before such cases will be prosecuted. Living in Harmony with other personalities The nominee in response to whether he could live in harmony with personalities he had levelled allegations against in his articles, told the Committee that he could only live in harmony with “decent people” and not criminals and looters of state resources. He said he had no grudges with people he had criticised in his writings, just that he could not tolerate people of deceit and individuals who stole from the resources of the state. Reparation under the Special Prosecutors Act On whether the Office of the Special Prosecutor would not abuse the option of reparation as an alternative to prosecution, the nominee responded that each case would be treated on its own merit. He stated that there exists in prosecution where a prosecutor would rather have to resort to settling the matter out of court than go for prosecution. He indicated that a decision to opt for reparation will not be taken in isolation. The Office will work as a team and consider the pros and cons of each case. He stated that the operation of the mechanism would require a balancing act. The nominee explained that decisions taken in respect of reparation would be subject to existing standards and conducted in the national interest. Regulations (Section 78) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor's Act The nominee informed the Committee that Regulations are important if the Office is to run effectively. The Regulations spell out the standard operating procedures for the workings of the Office. He indicated that if approved, he will work with the Board and Attorney General's Office to prepare Regulations based on international best practice for enactment by Parliament. Prosecution of Procurement Offences under Section 3(a) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) Regarding Section 3 (a) of the Office of the Special Prosecutors Act, 2017 (Act 959), on the investigation and prosecution of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences under the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663), the nominee stated that the Office of the Special Prosecutor will collaborate with the Procurement Authority to prosecute procurement offences under the Act. Confidentiality under Section 74 of Act 959 As to whether the nominee will uphold the principle of confidentiality as contained in Section 74 of the Special Prosecutors Act (Act 959), he stated that as a Public Officer, he will abide by the principles of confidentiality. He explained that the conversation that he had with the late Prof. Kofi Awoonor, which formed the basis of the questioner's inquiry, was not confidential. He assured the Committee that he would at all times be guided by the principle of confidentiality as a Public Officer. Plea Bargaining under Section 71 of Act 959 Mr Amidu was referred to Section 71 of Act 959 which states in sub-section (1) that: “A person under investigation or charged with corruption or a corruption-related offence may voluntarily; (a) Admit the offence and make an offer of restitution; or (b) Admit the offence and offer to provide information that will aid in the arrest and prosecution of other persons whom that person knows have committed or are about to commit corruption or a corruption- related offence. '' He explained that the plea bargaining provisions offered an avenue for accused persons to make reparation to the people of Ghana for the consideration of the Special Prosecutor and the courts. In his estimation, it would be better for the nation to retrieve its money rather than send people to jail. He assured the Committee that if approved, his Office would act professionally and reasonably in dealing with offers for reparation. Relevance of the Mutual Legal Assistance Act 2010 (Act 807) On the relevance of the Mutual Legal Assistance Act, 2010 (Act 807) to the work of the Special Prosecutor, the nominee stated that the Mutual Legal Assistance Act provides an opportunity to trace people who put their hidden wealth abroad and to retrieve those monies. He admonished those who are hiding ill-gotten wealth abroad that, pursuant to Section 77 of Act 959, he would endeavour to retrieve the monies, if his nomination is approved. Ministers to Seek Attorney-General's Advice When asked what advice he would give to Ministers on seeking the Attorney- General's advice on agreements and contracts that builds the nation, he stated that seeking the advice of the Attorney- General is very important. The advice of the Attorney-General acts as a check on corruption. He opined that he would rather advise Cabinet to seek at all times the Attorney- General's advice and recommendation before proceeding with the execution of contracts and agreements for and on behalf of the state. Inherent Weakness in the Attorney General's Office As to whether there are some inherent weaknesses in the Attorney-General's Office, the nominee stated that it would not be fair to the Attorney-General to point
Hon Members, who seconds the Motion? Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion on the nomination of of Mr Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu by His Excellency the President which was moved by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. Mr Speaker, I would want to make some reference to what transpired at the Committee and what has been captured in the Report. Mr Speaker, the nominee was able to give the Committee a background information about himself, where he was born and where he went to school. He actually revealed that he graduated from the University of Ghana in 1973 and was enrolled as a lawyer in 1976. He also holds a Master's Degree from the United States of America (USA), where he studied Conflict Resolution; that was obtained in 2001. Mr Speaker, Hon Members of the Committee asked a number of questions. They wanted to know from the nominee, why he accepted the President's nomination in the first place. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would want to quote what the Nominee said from page 3 of the Report: ‘‘…he accepted the President's nomination as the Special Prosecutor because he wants the good people of Ghana to benefit from the rich resources of this country by blocking the leakages and slippages of the proceeds from the resources of the nation''. Mr Speaker, for many of us at the Committee level, we think that he is a man who lives above politicking, and who thinks of the interest of Ghana. For that matter, he accepted the President's call to help him to fight the menace of corruption, which is destroying our country. Mr Speaker, another Hon Member asked the nominee about having been a Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney- General in the past, and whether his acceptance of this nomination or position as the Special Prosecutor was rather a lower position. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would want to quote from page 4 of the Report in respect of how the nominee answered: ‘‘…because of the passion he had for the fight against corruption which he had done throughout his public life''. Mr Speaker, we all know the nominee and his passion and desire to fight corruption, that has culminated as him being termed ‘‘citizen vigilante'' in the corridors of our politicking. I believe that has to be commended by this House. Mr Speaker I asked the nominee how he would proceed in the prosecution of procurement offences as captured in Section 3 (a) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017, (Act 959). He confirmed that he would be open to work with other public institutions who have a similar vision to fight corruption. For that matter, he would collaborate with the Public Procurement Authority as well as the Office of the Public Procurement, EOCO and other institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in order to have a comprehensive docket or investigation procedure before he would proceed to prosecute. I believe that was very key for some of us on the Committee, where there would not be any conflict arising in terms of who would prosecute what. He clarified it and many of us were satisfied with his clarification. Mr Speaker, questions were asked about plea bargaining, which is captured under Section 71 of the Act, and also the issue about whether there were inherent weaknesses in the Office of the Attorney- General. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader specifically asked him about his opinion, which he expressed earlier, on the Bill that was before Parliament and has now been passed as law. He raised very constitutional issues which we interrogated at the Committee level. He gave us the assurance that he was prepared to work with the laws that have been passed by Parliament, and if in the future there was the need for any amendments, he would communicate same to the Hon Minister for Justice and Attorney-General for this House to consider. Mr Speaker, I believe that just as has been said by the Hon Chairman of the Committee, at the Committee level, we were all amazed by the high standard of competence, the composure of the nominee, his brevity in answering questions on corruption and his preparedness, his solid principles, which he was not prepared to let go at any moment that is, but to continue same, that is the fight against corruption. He also talked about his independent mindedness and the fact that he would live above political coloration and deal with issues of corruption as it is. This is because if we do not do so and allow the politicking to go on, this would be detrimental to the development of our country. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for the opportunity, and I second the Motion. Question proposed.
Hon Members, I would call four Hon Members from each side of the House who would have five minutes each to contribute; Hon Leaders would have ten minutes.
None Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I have no fundamental issue but to indulge you that, it is an important milestone that we are taking. I find your five minutes too restrictive; if it could be opened to seven or eight minutes. Mr Speaker, if you could reconsider the five minutes; it is an application I make to you.
I am very much aware of the importance and I believe that the number would elicit every importance. Hon Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed- Mubarak. You may start — Five minutes.
Mr Speaker, I rise to speak to the Motion before us, for the approval of H. E. the President's nomination of Mr Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu as a Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, the Committee did interrogate the nominee, and let me say that there was no doubt about his
Hon Member in conclusion?
Mr Speaker, he said that he had learnt from that. It is our hope that he would not sit and allow persons from above to instruct him and he would keep quiet Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me say that I have no doubt -- While his demeanour may have portrayed him as citizen vigilante on a mission, his composure showed isolated instances of intemperate overreactions and inability to control himself. But I have no doubt that he would be able to perform the functions of the Office.
Mr Speaker, thank you. As a member of the Committee, I was impressed with the demeanour, the passion and forth- rightness with which the nominee answered questions put to him, despite the length of time that the Appointments Committee took to vet the nominee. Some of the answers he gave were very instructive and endeared him to the Ghanaian people as somebody who would not countenance any form of corruption whatsoever and who would do whatever it took to ensure that we eradicate, or at least, minimise that canker which damages the body politic of our society. Mr Speaker, despite the admission by the nominee that he had some concerns about the law in setting up his Office, he was more minded of his duty to assist us all in the fight against corruption and not focus on the minor issues that agitated his attention in the consideration of the Bill and in its passage into law. So he repeatedly answered when confronted with that issue that, he was prepared not to throw out the baby out with the bathwater, and that he would focus on the essential, which was to assist the President in his determination to fight corruption in this country, and to my mind, that was exceedingly commendable. Mr Speaker, in an answer to a question as to what would be a measure of his success as Special Prosecutor, he stated that his success should not be measured in terms of the number of people that he imprisons but by the integrity that he brought to the Office and by prosecuting or undertaking his work without fear, favour, malice or ill-will and that he wanted to create an institution that would work to fight corruption and put in place mechanisms which would deter people who would otherwise have engaged in those corrupt acts. He was not interested in self- aggrandisement but in what he could contribute to our effort to eradicate corruption, particularly, being minded of the President's insistence that we cannot continue to do business as usual, but we have to do something different and positive and move this country in the direction where corruption would be a high-risk low-profit undertaking, instead of being an undertaking in which people merely get slapped on the wrist and continue with actions which militated against the forward march of this country. Mr Speaker, in his response to a question on plea bargaining -- and as I conclude -- he explained that these provisions offered an avenue for accused persons to make reparations to the people of Ghana for the consideration of the Special Prosecutor and the courts. In his view, it would be better if the nation retrieved the moneys which had wrongfully found their way into people's pockets than to send people to jail. He assured the Committee that if approved, his Office would act professionally and reasonably deal with offers for reparations. Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I would urge all those who have butterflies in their tummies about the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu, including some who may have enjoyed double salaries as MPs and Ministers -- [Uproar] -- to take advantage --
Hon Member, in conclusion?
Mr Speaker, they should take advantage of this provision and take steps to make reparations as indicated in the Act. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you very much. Hon Ibrahim Ahmed -- [Interruptions.] Incidentally, I have a list.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion. Mr Speaker, just as I support the Motion for the approval of the Hon nominee to the Office of Special Prosecutor, I have three key areas to speak to from the Report which was laid. I would first start with paragraph 42 of page 16: Public Accounts Committee's Recommendation, and with your permission, I read: “As to how he intends to work with the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee, the nominee indicated that, if approved, the
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion that this House adopts the Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the President's nomination of Mr Martin Amidu for appointment as the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would continue from where Hon Ahmed left off. Indeed, the Committee stated in its conclusion that “We are persuaded that the candidate has the requisite integrity, competence, courage, determination, sense of purpose, independence of character and a mind suitable for the position…” and accordingly recommended that this House should approve the nominee. Indeed, as I continue, we must first commend the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo for this bold step. Mr Speaker, we have agreed in this House that the Public Accounts Committee should be chaired by a Member from the Minority. Even, when we go to the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, the Chairman of the Committee is from the Minority side.
Mr Speaker, the nominee was emphatic that every person was entitled to fair trial under article 19 of the Constitution. He said that as a Special Prosecutor, he would not engage himself in persecution but prosecution of crimes under the Act and that every person is innocent of a crime until proven guilty. This is a very good posture. Mr Speaker, we hear around that he has been brought in to pursue a certain agenda. He has put it out on oath that he is there as Special Prosecutor not to persecute but prosecute people under the law, and everybody would be offered fair trial as enshrined in our Constitution. I believe we must commend him for this very important statement that he has made. Mr Speaker, I have spoken for only three minutes.
Hon Member, I am watching the watch closely. In conclusion?
Mr Speaker, the nominee also emphasised that when it comes to tracing the loot, moneys that are stashed away abroad in certain accounts, he is competent enough to lead the team to trace all the moneys sent abroad, including those siphoned through money laundering. I believe that all in all, the nominee distinguished himself that he is very fit for the positon, but he needs the support of all of us. If we look at the public reaction, they are really interested in ensuring that this man succeeds and this Office of the Special Prosecutor becomes a very prominent feature in our democracy. I believe that we should all support him.
Hon Alban Bagbin, as per my list.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion. I agree with the Committee that we approve the Presidential nominee by consensus. We did not even need the Committee to give that public hearing to examine the nominee for seven good hours, for us to know that he was competent and so experienced, that he is one of those, and not the only one in Ghana, who is best fitted for that position. Mr Speaker, we know his passion against corruption and his track record. We also know of his independence of mind. In fact, that is what has made many, including me, to think that the President might have taken a serious risk.
Please, do conclude.
Mr Speaker, so, I do not want us to hype the perception that Hon Martin Amidu has come with the answer to fighting corruption; there is still a lot to be done. I would want to support my Hon Colleagues.
Thank you very much, Hon Second Deputy Speaker. Hon Dominic Nitiwul, Hon Minister for Defence?
Mr Speaker, let me also add my voice to those who have already called on this House to vote unanimously in support of the Motion for the approval of Hon Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu as the Special Prosecutor. Mr Speaker, sitting through the Appointments Committee and having had the opportunity to ask some two or three
Mr Speaker, we have always complained that the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament brings their Reports and findings to Parliament but their results do not find any space in the prosecution cycle of the Republic of Ghana. It is heart-warming that the nominee said that he would put structures in place to help the Public Accounts Committee to seal the loopholes and prosecute people who are indicted in the Reports. Mr Speaker, I believe that we should support the nominee. Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
Thank you very much, Hon Member.
Hon Members, before we come to the leaders, we have a delegation from our sister country -- Burkina Faso. They are here regarding the proposed Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Project. The delegation is led by Hon Issiaka Sigue and the others include Mr Zampou, Mr Toe and Ms Ouedraogo. They would be here for a few days and consult with Hon Members as well. On behalf of Hon Members, I welcome them to Parliament and our country. We wish them a good stay. Hon Minority Leader, you have 10 minutes. Report of the Appointments Committee on the nomination of Mr Martin Alamsi Burns Kaiser Amidu for appointment as Special Prosecutor
[Continuation of debate from column 1340]
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion for the approval of Hon Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu as Special Prosecutor for Ghana. Mr Speaker, indeed, as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo pointed in his State of the Nation Address, this is uncharted waters. Hon Martin Amidu needs to work with the Hon Attorney- General and Minister for Justice, the President of the Republic, the Parliament of Ghana, the Auditor-General, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Economic and Organised Crime Office, and more importantly, the Ghana Police Service to combat corruption and to reduce the menace of corruption in Ghanaian public life. Mr Speaker, we are told that corruption accounts for $1.5 trillion of global losses in terms of transactions involving countries. Again, we are told by some researchers that the amount of loss, relative to corruption, is estimated to be more than 10 per cent of development assistance to many countries. Mr Speaker, suffice to add that in Ghana, over US$1 billion is said to be lost to the problem of corruption. As was indicated, it remains a human problem and we must accept it as such.
Mr Speaker, I am not justifying coups, but I am saying that in all those instances, corruption was rightly cited as a bane of the country and a national problem. Mr Speaker, I had the privilege to work with Hon Martin Amidu as a junior Cabinet Minister in the late Prof John E. A. Mills' Government. I know him well and I know that when it comes to matters of law, he could be uncompromising with his convictions. I also know him well as a very selfless person. Mr Speaker, when he appeared before our Committee, there were isolated incidents of intemperance. When I jokingly said the “Builsa way”, he took offence. He must know that it is a cultural joke and it remains a cultural joke. He must learn; though he later indicated to us that he is human, he has a compassionate heart and he has reached out to many persons. Mr Speaker, it was instructive to hear from the Hon Martin Amidu that -- I beg to paraphrase him -- crime has no colour,
Hon Minority Leader, in conclusion --
Mr Speaker, I have done only five minutes but you said ten minutes. Mr Speaker, Parliament has a deliberative role; you must allow us to deliberate this matter. As the Hon Minority Leader, I have done five minutes when you gave me ten minutes, but you said that I should sit down.
Hon Minority Leader, at the time, you had two minutes towards the conclusion, and I am only reminding you to conclude.
Mr Speaker, you are reminding me when I still have half of my time. Mr Speaker, you are the Chair of this House --
Hon Minority Leader, this is the watch. This conduct must stop. Hon Minority Leader, you may conclude. I do not have to be showing you my watch all the time but I want you to see it now. You may conclude.
Mr Speaker, in concluding, this is not the first Hon Minority Leader of this Parliament -- If this attitude helps parliamentary democracy then let it be. I am unhappy but because it is an important matter I would conclude. I am watching my time here too. Mr Speaker, in concluding --
Hon Minority Leader, you may conclude.
Mr Speaker, in concluding, the weight of the fight against corruption is weightier than an individual. Therefore, the Hon Martin Amidu would work with institutions. Mr Speaker, where I disagree with him fundamentally, is where he sought to make a difference between articles he wrote as citizen vigilante in pursuit of constitutionality against hurting the reputations of other persons. He said he did so, believing that he raised constitutional matters. But when we asked him about his own view that he published about the constitutionality of the Bill of Special Prosecutor, his view was that, in his discussion with the President, he saw that the fight against corruption was more important. Let me remind him that, that cannot be more important than the constitutional principles and values of this country. Indeed, legislations, including the Special Prosecutor Act, are derived from the Consti tution. We expected that, pursuant to article 3 of the Constitution, he would -- Therefore, I would assure the Hon Deputy Majority Leader that the fight against corruption is an imperative that he looks within. He has to look within because procurement remains a government's function and the control of government resources remains a government function.
For Majority Leadership, Hon Ameyaw-Cheremeh?
Mr Speaker, one word. Mr Speaker, I am in my ninth minute. For the record, I am observing your conduct. Where it is necessary, I would file a motion --
From the Majority Leadership, Hon Ameyaw-Cheremeh, ten minutes.
Mr Speaker, with your special leave, the Majority Leadership would want Hon Samuel Atta Akyea to debate.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this unique opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor of th e House. Mr Speaker, let the records reflect that in critiquing the Bill, the Hon Nominee never said the whole process was unconstitutional. He had some problems with some clauses of the Bill, and that is what he critiqued. So, it was not a situation in which Hon Martin Amidu said the whole process was unconstitutional. I wish that this should be on record.
I would want to assuage the fears of those who believe that this appointment is intended to intimidate and probably chase people into the bush; far from it. This is because, the appointor of the Hon Martin Amidu is a great respecter of
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, we should never forget that the appointor of this man is a thoroughbred democrat. We should never forget that he is a lawyer of huge stature and has decency to respect all the constitutional provisions under article 19. This is where we have our rest and sanity as Members of Parliament and political appointees. Nobody should be feverish about anybody, because finally, it is not the nominee we are about to approve who would decide where we sleep. It is the court of competent jurisdiction; men of professional integrity, who would decide our fate. Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I beg to thank Hon Members for their contribution and support. I urge all to vote overwhelmingly for the nominee. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Motion numbered 8, Hon Majority Leader, any further progress on this matter?
Mr Speaker, given what we have done, I have had some consultation with the Hon Minority Leader and I believe we may have to take an adjournment. In the circumstance, we have to push the conclusion of the debate from the originally agreed date to Friday, to enable as many Hon Members as possible to debate, continuing from tomorrow. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this House do adjourn till 10 o'clock tomorrow in the forenoon.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for adjournment. As the Hon Majority Leader has indicated, we would have to continue with the debate on the message on the State of the Nation and conclude on Friday. Question put and Motion agreed to.
The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.15 p.m. till Wednesday, 21st February, 2018 at 10.00 a.m.