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“Cash For Seat” Probe Begins…Muntaka Denies Alleging Extortion
 
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12-Jan-2018  
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Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, at the “Cash for Seat” probe on Thursday, refused to accept that he alleged extortion of monies for the December 2017 Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA).

He said nowhere in his communication to the Speaker did he allege extortion; but however complained that there were unauthorised and unethical levies and collection of monies for the awards ceremony, for which he was unhappy.

Alhaji Muntaka, who is also the Member of Parliament for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, told the Committee at the Parliament House in Accra that it was his onerous duty as MP to bring the matter to the attention of the House, because the levies and monies collected lacked parliamentary approval and was wrongly done.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has been accused of taking monies ranging from 25,000-100,000 dollars from some expatriate businessmen who attended the GEBA.

The Ministry is alleged to have taken the monies with the promise of making the highest payers sit close to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo, therefore, queried the sector minister, Mr Alan Kyerematen, to explain what had really transpired.

The President, after perusing the Minister’s submission, directed him to give the facts of the matter to the Ghanaian public as what he had received so far did not indicate any wrongdoing.

This was announced in a statement issued by the Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Hamid.

The Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to institute a probe into the matter, warranting an emergency sitting of the House on Friday, January 5, 2018, at which the Speaker okayed the five-member bi partisan committee, chaired by Mr Ameyaw Cheremeh, the Majority Chief Whip and MP for Sunyani East.

The members are Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, MP for Adenta, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, MP for New Juabeng South, James Klutse Avedzi, MP for Ketu North and Dominic Ayeni, MP for Bolgatanga.

The Committee is to submit its report on January 24, 2018.

However, Alhajji Muntaka, appearing before the panel said the 1992 Constitution did not give the Presidency any such investigative powers without referring the matter to the appropriate bodies for investigations.

The Chief Whip, who is also the prime witness, said he was pushed to demand more answers because of the denial of knowledge of resource mobilisation by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah and the Ministry’s Chief Director.

Another witness, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs and MP for North Tongu, who seconded the Minority Chief Whip’s motion last Friday at the plenary, said there was no justification in charging expatriate businessmen to sit by President Akufo-Addo, adding; “everything was wrong with that unacceptable arrangement.”

He said the fundamental issue had to do with whether it was appropriate, moral, ethical, or legal to allow the highest bidder to have access to the President.

“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 him.

“It is my considered view that there is everything wrong with this arrangement, it is not appropriate, it cannot be justified in anyway.”

When the motion was moved last Friday at the emergency meeting, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, told the House that the mover of the motion himself did not sign the affidavit attached to his motion.

He told the House that based on the procedural irregularities, which he considered to be gross abuse of the processes of Parliament, it was important for the Speaker to dismiss “what we have before us as incompetence”.

However, the Speaker after listening to the debate on the issue ruled that even though there were procedural irregularities in the motion filed by the Minority, the matter before the House was of grave importance.

He, therefore, directed the House to be suspended for thirty minutes to enable the mover of the motion to correct the procedural irregularities.

Twenty eight MPs whose names were captured in the list of 77 as having signed the affidavit had no signatures against their names.

They include the Second Deputy Speaker, Hon Alban Bagbin, MP for Asunafo South, Hon. Eric Opoku, MP for Asutifi South, Collins Dauda, MP for Damongo, Adam Mutawakilu, MP for Korle Klottey, Zenator Rawlings, MP for Ablekuma South, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije and Felicia Adjei, MP for Kintampo South.

The rest are MP for Agona East, Queenstar Pokua Sawyerr, MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, and MP for Sekyere Afram Plains, Alex Adomako Mensah.
 
 
 
Source: GNA
 
 

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COMMENTS




Name: Muntaka Used by NDC
NDC Mps at parliament made allegation of extortion and corruption against the Trade and Industry Ministry. The President of Ghana took immediate action to investigate the matter and exonerating Trade and Industry Ministry from any wrongdoing. NDC MPs were dissatisfied and called for emergency conveyance of parliament from recess for the Christmas. The Speaker and the NPP Majority of Parliament judged the NDC proposal incompetent but agreed to set up a five-member committee to investigate the "cash for seats"allegation which has revealed the following facts. 1. Private Sector Industries establishing partnership with Trade and Industry Ministry to undertake a joint project to acknowledge and promote expatriate industries in Ghana. 2. The Trade and Industry Ministry established MOU with the Private Sector Body to execute the the project. 3.The Ministry was engaged to provide official recognition and supervision. 3.The Private Sector Body was responsible for execution of the project. 4.Project was to be pre-financed by the Private Sector Body and its expenditure to be reimbursed from earning of the project. 5.Donations To the project to be deposited with the Ministry to ascertain accountability of the donations in order to inspire trust and confidence of donors. 6.Presidency not involved in the organization of the project but informed and invited to the function. 7.Project executed on date according to MOU. 8. Donation to project categorised but voluntary. 9. Donations deposited with ministry as agreed in MOU and acknowledged with receipts. 10. Payments for project justified without any challenge. 11. Internal auditing carried out within a month of event of project. 12. No complaint made and no fault established by any of the players of event. 13. NDC Chief Whip, Mustapha, abandons claims of extortion and corruption, but insists the call for investigation was necessary for clarity. 14. NDC Okudjeto Ablakwah admits of not having enough facts of project and event. He abandons the claim of levy but thinks the donation is extortion and corruption because Rawlings, Ken. Agyapong, PC Appiah Ofori, Integrity Initiative and other persons or groups has expressed similar concerns about his allegation. He further claims that the NDC MPs allegation captured the attention of of BBC and other international Media so it was necessary to call for the emergency of parliament. The investigation was uncalled for. It was waste of time and resources. However it has justified Nana Addo and vindicated Alan and the Trade and Industry Ministry. It has revealed for the second time the manipulation of Minority Chief Whip, Mustapha by NDC Party to make him stupiddddd in the eyes of ghanaians. It has also reveaed Okodjato as, rushinggg, myyopic, illogicalll, and adamantttt. He has not yat grown by coming to parliament but continue to be immatureeed. He needs to grow. Another important revelation about the investigation is that it is now moving away from investigation to auditing of Trade and Industry Ministry as it appears in the questions of the Deputy Minority Leader. I don't know if after his interrogation the Trade and Industry Ministry would still be audited by the Controller and Accountant General Department for their usual periodic auditing of the ministries.
 
Name: NANA KWAME
It’s a shame the NDC are wasting the countries good precious time, this case its won’t wash the whole idea trying to tag NPP with corruption won’t happen, the power struggle between themselves and who the minority leader should be address to help in the house of parliament be more productive to the country making very good contribution not disrespecting themselves like Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhajji Muntaka its needless we have a lot and urgent issues to address on the floor etc.
 
Name: NDC=nation destroyers camp, JDM=judgement debt manager
muntaka and that dog-like teeth guy again. another exercise in futility. these guys are just trying to remain relevant to the ndc and the ple in their constituency who voted for them. we need a law in this country to deal with pl who raise false alarms and cause fear and panic among the ple. we need it NOW. all these n0ns3ns3 from the ndc must stop.
 
Name: KWAKU ABRANTE3 - Ashaiman
IF THE SPEAKER HAD REFUSED THIS PROBE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A BIG PROPAGANDA VEHICLE FOR THE NDC TO DRIVE THEIR BASELESS CORRUPTION AGENDA. THE PROBE WILL EXPOSE THE NDC BIG TIME AND ALL WILL KNOW HOW UNPRODUCTIVE THEY CAN BE. THEY DREW EMPHATIC CONCLUSIONS IN THEIR PRESS STATEMENT AND YET THEY RECALL PARLIAMENT FROM RECESS TO LOOK FOR ANSWERS THEY ALREADY HAVE ACCORDING TO THEIR PRESS STATEMENT. A BUNCH OF NOISEMAKERS...NO SUBSTANCE.
 
Name: ME MAN NTI
I agree with you. I'm really disappointed in Speaker Mike Ocquaye, I don't think Chairman Blay would have done that if he was put there, anything done at this current parliament is like to favour the ndc by the speaker, he bows to any nons*nse from them. He must be changed for a dynamic Speaker who will put these idi*ts elected by ign****barred word*** Ghanaians to represent them, to wo*k and to make meaningful impact on their constituents and Ghana as a whole.
 
Name: Ablakwa, muntaka &co should be expelled from parliament
There are some douchebags occupying seats in Parliament and for their attention deficiencies, concoct preposterous and baseless allegations just to be seen as working but are really a bunch of disgraceful morons who don’t deserve any seat in authority let alone parliament. Honourables my backside!!! This is just a waste of public funds just like the bribery allegations they came up with. Fuuuolish amateurs parading themselves as big guys. Nun.sense!! I don’t blame you
 
Name: Mike Oquaye has his own agenda
Mike Oquaye is probably the worst speaker we have had in the 4th Republic. It seems he has his own agenda which I am not sure what he wants to achieve. No other speaker would have allowed this committee to be set up to waste public funds, time and other resources. This cash for seat issue is a red herring that will lead no where. And one of the many minority gimmicks.Mike behaves and talks as if he is president and does not look out of the interest of the country, his party or government. I am really disappointed because I thought he was an excellent pick.
 
Name: NDC MPs might become irrelevant
NDC MPs doing no good to NDC Party. They are rushing to conclusions without basis. It is difficult to reconcile their claims of donations, voluntarily contribution as extortion. It is difficult to understand precise and meticulous process for payment which ensure transparency against any corruption as extortion. In fact it is very difficult to to understand NDC claim that event of private sector organised in partnership with ministry for fund raising and the collected amount paid to ministry public account can termed extortion or corruption. Corruption by NDC own definition is using public resources for private gains.. In this case it is rather using private resources for public gains because the funds raised by the private sector became a public income. It is also appear as if NDC wanted to kill this initiative because the criticism occurred when the event was not yet completed, as claim by NDC witnesses that some expatriates might still be paying. The claim of discrepancies by NDC has also arisen because the program was attacked when it was not entirely completed. NDC MPs are therefore picking uncoordinated information from different people and drawing their own conclusions. If it is true that some expatriates are still paying what is contradiction of claim by a member of the organizing body that nobody has paid certain amount at the time of his reporting and another claiming that somebody has paid. It even affirms that the event is still ongoing and it is wrong for anybody to draw conclusion. It is hard to appreciate the move of NDC MPs and anybody who is drawing any conclusion of the event at this time when they do not understand the arrangements and the set up of the event. Any events of such nature is concluded with a report. And it is only after the report that one can justifiably appraise the event after careful study of the report and its feedback. . The public was not happy about Ayariga-Okudzeto-Nahinini bribery allegation. The reputation of NDC MPs is further discredited by this cash for seat saga.which is rather a waste of resources of the nation and waste of time of the MPs. If the trend should continue nobody will take any criticism of NDC serious.
 



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