Parliament’s Appointment Committee has deferred the approval of Andrews Egyapa Mercer as Deputy Energy Minister.
The committee vetted 4 deputy ministers designate on Monday, June 7.
Joy News sources say a closed-door meeting of the Committee soon after the fourth vetting okayed by consensus Rev. Ntim Fodjour, George Mireku Duker and Tina Mensah for approval as deputy Education, Lands and Natural Resources, and Health ministers respectively.
But the committee did not take a decision on Mr. Mercer.
Committee members are expected to review footage of his vetting to take a decision later.
Government in 2019 claimed it had decided to abrogate the Power Distribution Services (PDS) – Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) agreement because it had detected fraud in the insurance covering the deal.
But Mr. Mercer told the committee “the then Minister for Energy (Peter 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 stament, the information minister said 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.
“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 preprepared to change my position with regards to that aspect of my response,” he said.
Joy News sources say the committee decided in a closed door meeting it will review the footage of the vetting and compare his earlier insistence that there was no fraud with his subsequent admission there was fraud to be certain what exactly his position is, before taking a decision on him.
A decision on him by the committee is expected late Tuesday.