The former Member of Parliament for Asunafo South Constituency, George Boakye, has said that his 37-year-old daughter tricked him into taking her to London under the pretext of going to see her uncle, but disappeared on their arrival in the UK.
According to him, although he knew he was being irresponsible by not reporting his daughter’s disappearance once he couldn’t find her, he feared a report to security officials would have her incarcerated.
The former MP is among 4 current legislators who have been banned from entering the UK over allegations of visa fraud.
The British High Commissioner, Jon Benjamin in a letter to the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye said the offence of the former MP was that, “On 11/09/2012, the then Honourable and now former MP for Asunafo South George BOAKYE applied for visas for himself and his 37-year old daughter, Joyce BOAKYE to visit a friend in London for 17 days The visas were granted on 14/09/2012. On 17/01/2013 Joyce BOAKYE travelled to the UK with her Honourable father. Joyce BOAKYE did not leave the UK with her father, but remained until 06/01/2017.
In other words, she finally returned to Ghana just this month, having been in the UK illegally for over three years, and only then at our strong urging of Mr Boakye to bring her back. Mr Boakye is highly unlikely to be issued any further visas to visit the UK in the next ten years for his role in facilitating his daughter’s travel to the UK, including should he be re-elected to Parliament in a subsequent election.
But according to Mr. Boakye, the development was not his fault. In a rather interesting Citi News interview, the former MP said he lost contact with his daughter after she left that house where she had gone to visit an Uncle that he the MP couldn’t even identify.
“She managed to trick me into believing that she wanted to go and visit her uncle. Not knowing, she had a prior arrangement with her boyfriend with the promise that the boyfriend would be able to regularize her stay for her. At the time that I was coming and she hadn’t come, I left a message and a return ticket with the hope that it should be given to my daughter anytime she returns, and I left.
To be very honest, I lost contact with her because she knew me to be a very strict person and for that matter if I got the information that she was there with a man, she wouldn’t find it lightly.”
He told Citi News’ Umaru Sanda Amadu that, he went to London to visit a friend, but went with her daughter because she said she wanted to “look at London.”
“I was going to [London] to visit a friend and she said she wanted she wanted to go with me, to have a look at London. She was 37 at the time we got the visa, but now she is 41.”
He added that, “the mistake I made was that, I should have collected the contact number and house address [of the uncle] and I forgot to do that, that is why she was able to get her way out. I knew she would come because I left the return ticket with my host. So about a week later when I realized wasn’t coming, I became apprehensive and told my host to look around and find out if she [the host] would be able to trace her. We tried our best but we couldn’t trace her.”
Mr. George Boakye further said that he was contacted by the Embassy in December 2016 over the stay of his daughter in that country, but he pleaded that they allowed him attend to election-related issues.
He noted that he finally made contact with his daughter after the election, and instructed her to return to Ghana over the potential harm her illegal stay in the UK could do to his reputation.
“After the elections, I intensified my search and I was able to get to one of her friends and I managed to get her address from her friend. I called her and she responded, so on the phone I even cursed her, and told her that if she did not come to Ghana, it will not auger well for her because it will dent my image in the country so she should come,” he said.