Appointments Committee of Parliament has put on hold the approval of the Deputy Energy Minister nominee, Andrews Egyapa Mercer.
According to our Parliamentary Correspondent, Mr. Mercer was among the four(4) deputy ministers nominees who were vetted by the Committee on Monday, June 2021.
Speaking on a condition of anonymity, a member of the Appointments Committee told our reporter that, the Committee approved by consensus the nominations of Rev. Ntim Fodjour, George Mireku Duker, and Tina Mensah as deputy Education, Lands and Natural Resources, and Health ministers respectively.
However, when it came to the turn of Mr. Egyapa Mercer, the Committee failed to take a decision on him. According to our investigations, the Committee would take a second look at his responses during his vetting to determine his fate
It would be recalled that the government in 2019 terminated the Power Distribution Services (PDS) – Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) agreement because it detected fraud in the insurance covering the deal.
But Mr. Mercer at the vetting told the committee that “the then Minister for Energy Peter Paul Amewu misspoke” in describing the problem with the deal as fraudulent.
“I disagree with his choice of words in describing the transaction as fraudulent and I still disagree with him now. Because I read the statement issued by the Minister of Information, the official mouthpiece of the Republic of Ghana. And in that statement, the information minister said the government had detected material breaches.
“Nowhere in the official communication were the words fraud used,” he added.
At the latter part of the vetting, Minority Chief Whip in Parliament Muntaka Mubarak and Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu brought back the issue for further interrogation with Mr. Mubarak asking Mr. Mercer to define fraud.
Chairman of the Committee Joe Osei Owusu also quizzed Mr. Mercer on the issue. “Will misrepresenting a fact amount to fraud?” he asked, but he answered, “If it was with the intent to deceive, then it will amount to fraudulent misrepresentation,” Mr. Mercer said.
After some back and forth, Mr. Mercer agreed with a suggestion by Mr. Mubarak that misrepresentation could amount to fraud.
“With the chairman having drawn my attention to the potential misrepresentation being fraudulent, I am prepared to change my position with regards to that aspect of my response,” he said.
Meanwhile, a decision on him by the Committee was expected yesterday.