The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has described as a scam the presidency’s exoneration of the Trade Ministry of any wrongdoing in what has now become the ‘cash for seat saga’.
Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Aaron Oquaye has set up a bi-partisan committee to probe claims that the Trade Ministry extorted as much as $100,000 from expatriates to allow them to sit close to the President at the recently held Ghana Expatriates Business Awards.
The Presidency has cleared the Trade ministry of any wrongdoing in the issue.
“The facts, as reported to the president, do not disclose any wrongdoing on the part of the Minister or any government official,” a statement from the Information Minister said.
But appearing before the five-member committee Thursday, January 11, 2018, Mr. Ablakwa said: “It is my very humble view that this cannot constitute a full investigation into this matter, and, so, it is really imperative that this house carries out its investigative and oversight duties in delving into this matter.
“It’s clear that there was no thorough investigation, no crosschecking, others were not engaged and this was put out,” he added.
He went further to tell the committee that, “The fundamental issue has to do with whether it is appropriate, whether it is moral, whether it is ethical, whether it is legal for access to our president His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to be offered to the highest bidder.
“It is my contention that you cannot sell the prestige of the Office of the President, you cannot say that you are organising an award and that if you pay $100,000 or $75,000 you will be guaranteed access to the president first by sitting by him and secondly by having an exclusive private dinner with the president.
“It is my considered view that there is everything wrong with this arrangement, it is not appropriate, it cannot be justified in any way.”