Managing editor for Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has criticized Parliament over its decision to shelve voting on the report by the ad-hoc committee that investigated the Sputnik vaccine fiasco.
Parliament after debating the recommendations of the committee ruled that a decision on the acceptance or otherwise of the report will be made when it resumes sitting in October.
The calls were made by the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Andrew Amoako Asiamah who sat in for Alban Bagbin, the substantive speaker.
Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, Kwesi Pratt disclosed that Alban Bagbin was within the precinct of Parliament but opted not to sit as Speaker on the day.
Pratt believes that such a decision feeds into the suspicion that there is bigger and more powerful name behind the Sputnik saga that is being shielded whiles Health Minister Agyeman-Manu faces public outrage.
“So far I’m not happy with the way and manner this matter has been dealt with by Parliament. It raises a lot of questions. I’m also very surprised at what happened in Parliament.
“I cannot understand why Parliament could not take the report of the committee of inquiry and decided that the matter should stand down until Parliament resumes sometime in October. What went into that decision?
“I understand also that the right honourable speaker was in the building but didn’t sit. There is some speculation he may not have sat because of the dispatch rider that died. Is that sufficient? When there is such an important matter of state. I’m not too sure how Parliament itself has handled this so far and I think they may have to be explanations. But in all of this let’s ensure that we uphold the principle,” Pratt said.
Kwesi Pratt also charged the government to respect the constitutional provision of equality before the law.
He accused the government of selective justice over the President’s decision not to fire Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
“You cannot have a democracy anywhere in the world where the principle of equality of citizens is not respected. It’s a cardinal principle and when you violate the principle of equality of citizens before the law, the very foundation of democracy is shaken if not broken.
“In light of all this what comes to my mind is what then justifies the continued prosecution of Dr Opuni. How do we feel when you begin to look at how monumental decisions took place at the Electoral Commission ahead of the last elections and the justification we provided that? Can we in all honesty and sincerity say that it was okay to remove Charlotte Osei as EC chair? I’m not sure?
Pratt noted the government has not been forthright with Ghanaians over the deal and that he smells a cover-up.
He described it as a ‘cathedral of lies’ statement from government officials on the matter and wondered why action has not been taking so far.
“The fact also is that all the stories we were told about this transaction have turned out to be absolutely false. No truth in what we were told either by the Ministry of Health and Finance. The claim that we were dealing with Russian officials turned out to be false. As others have said, this has been a cathedral of lies.
“The Minister himself make serious admissions. Even about his ability to soak pressure and things and these the things the must guide us in making a determination as to how we should proceed,” he said.