Anti-graft campaigner, P.C Appiah-Ofori has slammed disrespectful the failure of expatriate businessmen to honour the invitation of the five-member Parliamentary committee investigating the ‘cash-for-seat’ saga.
The bipartisan committee Tuesday was unable to sit because the expatriate business moguls refuse to show up to give evidence before it.
According to him, the conduct of the expatriates amounts to contempt of parliament and they must be punished accordingly.
“Their action or conduct offends the constitution. It amounts to contempt. Parliament has the status of the Appeal Court and if Parliament invites you or calls you and you fail to honour or you don’t give reasons for that and you are cited for contempt you can be thrown into prison.
“So, if they have no good reasons for failing to come then they have committed contempt as they did not inform the committee that they would not be able [show up]. They have committed contempt,” he told Starr News.
According to Starr News’ sources, the expatriate businessmen refuse to honour the committee’s invitation because they wanted an in-camera hearing instead of the public hearing the committee has been having.
Explaining to journalists Tuesday why the committee failed to sit, its spokesperson Yaw Buaben Asamoah said, “We have had to adjourn early today because of scheduling mishap. We were expecting the expatriate committee to appear before us today [Tuesday, January 16, 2018].
“But it appears there have been some roadblocks and therefore the committee has had to adjourn today’s sitting to reengage the expected witnesses in the expatriate community.”
He assured that, “As soon as we have the road map, we will communicate it.”
The committee has so far heard evidence of some members of the minority who have alleged wrongdoing in the event as well as the trade ministry who insist there were no shady deals in the awards event.
On Monday, the committee took evidence from officials of the Millennium Excellence Awards
Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Aaron Oquaye set up the 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 committee whose sitting will be opened to the public was formed after an emergency recall of the House at the behest of the minority, who have insisted there was a wrongdoing on the side of the ministry.