Muntaka Flattens Nana Addo

– Cash-For-Prez Seat

…Says Presidency is no investigative body to clear Alan Cash of extortion

 Hon. Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, Member of Parliament for Asawase constituency in the Ashanti Region, has stressed the need to probe Trade Minister Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten over the “Cash for presidential seat” matter.

When asked by members of the parliamentary adhoc committee investigating the Cash-for- proximity-to-the-President seat issue in Accra yesterday, whether he was aware the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, had cleared the Trade Minister of any wrongdoing, Hon. Muntaka, disagreed on the grounds that the Presidency is not an investigative body and therefore has no such powers to investigate and clear persons of extortion.

The Asawase MP said the admission that an amount of $2.6million was collected from expatriates and paid to the ministry at Room 308 was enough to call for a probe, because it taints the image of the country and has brought the name to public ridicule

According to him, charging expatriate businessmen between $100,000 and $15,000 to sit near the President of the Republic and later have dinner was not only unethical, but also belittled the Presidency.

Explaining further, he said it was also out of the numerous contradictory statements by the parties that compelled him to file the motion and got support from 77 members to request for the reconvening of parliament.

He believed with the conviction that the parliament adhoc committee investigation would unearth the truth and bring the matter to an end.

He asserted that it was unethical for officials of the government to charge expatriates fees for them to be seated close to the President, Nana Akufo-Addo during the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards in Accra.

The five-member committee, chaired by the majority chief whip, Kwesi Ameyaw Cheremeh, was constituted by the Speaker, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, following a motion filed by the minority chief whip.

Members of the committee are Kwesi Amenyaw-Cheremeh, MP for Sunyani East (Chairman), Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, MP for Adentan; Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah; MP for New Juaben South, Dr. James Avedzi, MP for Ketu North, and Dr. Dominic Ayine, MP for Bolga East.

The concerns of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs came after it was discovered the Trade Ministry allegedly charged expatriate businessmen $100,000 to sit close to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at an awards ceremony in Accra.

This in the view of the minority MPs was unethical and portrayed the Presidency being auctioned to the highest bidder.

Appearing before the committee comprising three Majority and two Minority MPs, Alhaji Muntaka said the Ministry of Trade and Industry does not have the legal backing or parliamentary approval to put levy and collect fees from expatriates in order to sit close to our president.

He told the committee that what made him more confused was the contradictory explanation on the matter by government officials, stating that, “all available documents indicated that at least one person had paid $100,000 to sit close to the President and in a later date have a private dinner with the President.”

In his view, the ministry has erred in charging expatriates fee or levy and collection without such being sanctioned by law or approval by the legislators, noting, “several inconsistencies by the government official increase our suspicion and confusion.”

The Asawase lawmaker who appeared as star witness on the committee stated that, the explanation that the award was purely a private organised event and that the government has no hand or control over the entire programme was palpably untrue.

Alhaji Muntaka told the committee, there are compelling evidence to prove that, indeed government was an active partner for there were instances where expatriates were asked to make some payment at a certain Room 308 at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

He believed with the conviction that the parliament adhoc committee investigation would unearth the truth and bring the matter to an end.



Source: Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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