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Expats Dodge ‘Cash For Seat’ Probe

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Expatriate business operatives in the center of a Parliamentary probe into allegations that various sums of money were extorted from them as a condition to sit closer to President Akufo-Addo during a recent awards ceremony, all failed to honour an invitation to appear before the Committee.

Chairman of the five-man special fact-finding Committee, Kwesi Ameyaw-Kyeremeh had to call off the Committee sitting which had waited close to an hour due to the failure of all the 23 businesses to show up yesterday.

No clear explanation has been given on the failure of the businesses to appear before the Committee but Mr. Ameyaw-Kyeremeh who is also the Majority Chief Whip and MP for Sunyani East hinted that his outfit will reengage the businesses with enough notices to enable them appear at a later date.

Information gathered by THE PUBLISHER indicates that the expatriate business operators had preferred to have an off-camera engagement with the Committee rather than the open public hearing that is carried live both on radio and television stations across the country.

This is likely to have influenced their decision to abandon the Committee sitting yesterday which would have been heard in the full public glare and transmitted on live television.

The expatriate businesses were expected to provide their version of the “extortion” allegation to the Committee on whether they were coerced or charged to pay various sums of money before they are awarded or offered a seat close to the President of the Republic.

Spokesperson of the Committee, Member of Parliament for Adentan, Yaw Buaben Asamoah told journalists that the businesses have sent various excuses including travels among others as reasons for their absence.

Already four individuals and institutions have testified before the Committee.

They are Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak-Mohammed, MP for North Tongue Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Minister for Trade and Industries, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten, the Millennium Excellence Foundation, led by its founder and President, Ambassador Ashim Morton and its Chairman, Ambassador Victor Gbeho.

The adhoc committee which was expected to end its sitting yesterday would have to seat for additional day(s) in order to hear testimonies from the expatriate businesses at later days.

Parliament on January 5, set up the five-member adhoc committee to probe the cash for seat saga following an emergency sitting of the house that considered a motion in that regard at the instance of the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak- Mohammed and MP for North Tongue, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

The committee is expected to present its report to Parliament on January, 24, just a day after the resumption of the house.

By: Christian Kpesese/ thePublisher

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