Parliament’s Select Committee on Transport has stated it is early days yet for members to go into allegations levelled against the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu.
Chairman of the Committee Samuel Ayeh-Paye says the Select Committee can only wait for the Ghana Maritime Authority board, which has been directed by the sector minister to investigate the matter, to submit its report before any further action.
Speaking to TV3 Monday, Mr. Ayeh-Paye said it is procedural to have Parliament investigate a matter and that until that is done the legislative cannot go into the matter on its own volition.
“I don’t think we have gotten there yet. If the board comes out with its report and we find out that there is the need for a higher body to investigate, why not, but we haven’t gotten there yet,” the Ayensuano MP said.
“Talking about Parliament’s Select Committee on Roads and Transport, we don’t have any petition in front of us, we don’t have any referral from the Speaker, nobody has petitioned the Speaker, no referral so for us based on what we have heard from the media then we delve into the matter. That is not how Parliament committees work.”
Mr. Ayeh-Paye, however, noted that the other opportunities available to have higher state institutions investigate the matter are to have interested parties make an official complaint to CHRAJ or petition Parliament, in which case he said the petition will be referred to the appropriate committee.
He added it also takes a procedure to have other state investigative bodies into the matter.
“And also talking about the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, unless somebody goes there to complain,” he said.
The Chairman of the Select Committee expressed his displeasure about the way the GMA boss addressed the issues, noting “I myself have not been happy the way he rushed trying to explain himself, trying to speak to the issues”.
Mr. Owusu has been accused of blowing an amount of GH¢135,125 on an end-of-year party for staff and another GH¢10,652 on food at Luxe Suites Hotel, a facility he allegedly owns.
He was also accused of spend GH¢1 million to renovate his official residence, fixing 11 air conditioners.
He has, however, refuted all the allegations.
Transport Minister Kwaku Ofori Asiamah directed the governing board of the Ghana Maritime Authority to investigate the allegations, a directive which again has raised eyebrows among the public.
In the press conference, Mr. Owusu admitted owning the hotel the monies were paid to and justified all the payments made.
The tone of the press conference which many have described as ‘harsh’ touched on all the allegations he has been accused of.