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Cash-For-Seat Committee Presents Report Today

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Parliament is expected to bring finality to the hullabaloo surrounding the recently organized Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA) today, as the five-member adhoc Committee set up to investigate the matter will present its findings to the plenary.

The Committee has investigated allegations that the expatriate business owners were made to pay money so they could have a chair close to the President.

In all, a total of six (6) individuals some of them representing institutions and an undisclosed number of expatriate businesses testified before the Committee hearing which was broadcast live on national television and a number radio stations across the country. The hearing of the expatriate businesses were however held in camera.

Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed-Muntaka first raised the issue on the floor of Parliament during the debate on the 2018 budget estimates approvals where he alleged that the Ministry of Trade and Industry had collected various sums of money ranging from US $25, 000 to US$100,000 from expatriate businesses to sit close to the President of the republic during an awards ceremony.

Subsequently, Mr. Muntaka together with some 77 members of the Minority caucus in a petition to the Speaker based on provisions of clause three (3) of article 112 of the 1992 constitution and Order 38 (1) of the Standing Orders of Parliament demanded a recall of Parliament to consider the allegation claim, which the Speaker did.

During the emergency sitting on January 5, 2018, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak moved a motion that the House investigates the alleged collection of levies and collection by the Ministry of Trade & Industry of the Ghana Cedi equivalent of various sums up to US$100,000.00 from expatriate businesses and related matters during the recently held Ghana Expatriates Business Awards in Accra.

He argued that documents at his disposal clearly showed that some monies were collected from expatriates, noting that such was unethical and not backed by law.

The motion was seconded by the MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

After several claims and otherwise, the Speaker announced the setting up of the special five-member Committee to investigate the matter.

Members of the Committee include; Majority Chief Whip, Kwesi Ameyaw Cheremeh, Chairman, MP for Adenta, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, MP for New Juabeng South, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, MP for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi and MP for Bolgatanga, Dominic Ayeni with the following terms of reference;

  1. When did the matter under consideration arise?
  2. Can it be perceived in terms of what the lawyers normally describe as Novus Actus Intervenus – is it something new that has arisen?
  3. Will the matter has been raised during the regular sitting session with prudent vigilance?
  4. Has the matter been raised in any form or whatsoever during the session and why raise it in the moment Parliament goes on recess?

The committee which was expected to present its report to the plenary on January, 24 was given an additional week extension to enable them complete its work and present to the house for consideration on January, 31, 2018.

By: Christian Kpesese/ thePublisher

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