Monumental Cash-for-seat Scandal Hearing To Be Telecast Live This Week

Parliament

Accra, January 8, 2017//-Ghana’s Parliament would on Thursday, this week begin public hearing and a live telecast of the investigation into the monumental cash-for-seat scandal which rocks the Ghanaian government.

The hearing will be telecast live on Ghana Television (GTV).

Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, the spokesperson for the five-member committee set up by Parliament to  investigate claims that expatriates paid as high as US$100,000 to sit close to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the recent Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA) held in Accra, said modalities are being worked on to ensure that everything goes successful.

The committee is currently sending invitations to persons linked to the scandal. They may be open to written submissions or personal testimonies, Mr Asamoah who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) for Adenta constituency added.

Members of the committee are Ameyaw Chremeh, Osei Assigbey, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, Dominic Ayine and James Klutse Avedzi.

The five-member adhoc committee are expected to work from January 23 when Parliament returns from recess, according to our correspondent in Parliament.

The Members of Parliament (MPs) were summoned to sit on the motion filed by the minority MPs indicating that the Ministry of Trade and Industry erred in collecting various sums from expatriate businesses to sit on the same table with the President.

The request was contained in a memo to the Speaker, Prof Ocquaye.

The memo is dated Wednesday, December 27, 2017, and signed by Minority Chief Whip and Asawase MP, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak and North Tongu MP, Okudzeto Ablakwa.

“We the undersigned Members of Parliament from the respective constituencies indicated against our names and comprising of more than 15 percent of all the Members of Parliament, hereby request for a meeting of parliament and humbly request of the speaker of Parliament to summon a meeting of Parliament for the consideration of the following proposed urgent Agenda,” the statement said.

Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak

The motion requests, “that this Honourable House investigates the levy and collection by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of a Ghana cedi equivalent of various sums of money in United States of American dollars from expatriate businesses in Ghana and related matters during the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards in Accra.”

 The request follows government’s clearing the Trade Ministry of any wrongdoing after the Minority Chief Whip accused the Ministry of charging unapproved fees to the tune of $100,000 to grant access to President Akufo-Addo.

The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, said the information available to him on the $100,000 reserved-seat scandal does not support the claim of wrongdoing.

“The facts, as reported to the president, do not disclose any wrongdoing on the part of the Minister or any government official,” Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid said in a statement last Thursday.

The statement came days after public outrage over claims that the Trades Ministry has extorted  $100,000 from expatriates for a “presidential seat” at the Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA).

Deputy Trades Minister Carlos Ahenkorah has admitted some monies were taken from expatriates but said they were later transferred into the account of the awards organizers, Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF).

But the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mohammed who was not satisfied described government’s explanation as an unacceptable “complete cover-up”.

He said government’s stance was similar to case of the sale of the five million contaminated fuel at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) as well as the corruption allegations levelled against the two Deputy Chiefs of Staff.

“I believe and the minority still believes that if a parliamentary probe goes ahead many things will be unearthed,” Mr Mohammed said.

He said the president’s explanation for clearing the Trades Ministry of any wrongdoing amounts to an insult of the intelligence of Ghanaians, adding the Minority will be able to prove that some people paid the $100,000.

African Eye Report

 

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