Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is threatening to cause the arrest of recalcitrant witnesses who refuse to appear before it.
This follows displeasure by the Committee members after the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, failed to appear before them despite several invitations to do so.
The Public Accounts Committee which began its public sittings on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, had to adjourn after the Governor and his two deputies snubbed it.
Dr. Addison was today scheduled to lead the Bank to respond to reported financial malfeasance as captured in the Auditor-General’s Report on the Statement of the Bank of Ghana’s Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments for 2017 and 2018.
Despite an appearance by the Central Bank’s Director of Financial Services, Stephen Opata, the Committee led by Chairman, James Klutse Avedzi adjourned proceedings to tomorrow amid claims that they will only scrutinize the report of the Bank if the Governor is present.
“We want the Governor of the Bank of Ghana to appear before the Public Account Committee tomorrow [Wednesday, June 24, 2020] so we can handle both the 2017 and 2018 reports. So kindly indicate to the Governor the Bank of Ghana that the committee is waiting upon him to appear before us tomorrow at the same time,” he stressed.
In a follow-up statement, the Committee “warned that it would subpoena persons who refuse to honour its invitation to answer questions on the audited accounts of state entities and cause the arrest of witnesses who disrespect the Committee or lie to it.”
It also warned the Governor to take their work seriously and “appear before it tomorrow, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, threatening to invoke the powers given it to suspend, reprimand or cause the dismissal of any public official who defaults honouring its invitation.”
The Committee also recounted past acts of disrespect by the Governor towards the work of PAC since his assumption of office and invoked the powers vested in it under Article 103 of the Constitution, to summon the Governor to appear before it with his full team on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, and respond to the issues raised.