Parliament must probe $100k expats saga – Azeem

General News of Wednesday, 20 December 2017



Anti-corruption campaigner Vitus Azeem

Anti-corruption campaigner Vitus Azeem has called on Parliament to set up an independent committee to probe monies charged by the Ministry of Trade and Industry before some expats were allowed to sit beside the president at a recent awards event held in Accra.

According to him, the development is unfortunate and does not speak well for the government.

Mr. Azeem’s call comes on the back of reports that foreign business owners were charged as much as $100,000 to sit close to the president at the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA).

The claim was first made by NDC MP for Asawase Muntaka Mubarak in Parliament. The Trade Ministry has, however, explained it was not responsible for the supposed charges that expatriate businesses paid.

According to the ministry, “the GEBA was the brainchild of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, an entity noted for its prowess and credibility in the organisation of world class events such as the Millennium Excellence Awards and the Accra Marathon.

The claims led to near fisticuffs in Parliament on Tuesday between former deputy Education minister Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa and deputy minister for Trade Carlos Ahenkora, who signed the controversial document.

But speaking to host of Morning Starr Francis Abban Wednesday, Mr. Azeem said, it is unfortunate that the government is “using our President to raise funds for a Private business,” adding that “it should be avoided in the future.”

“Parliament can ask for the money to be accounted for and they can decide what the money should be used for…I will find it difficult to say this is a classic case of corruption without knowing the details. It is, however, a potential case of corruption,” the former Executive Director for the Ghana Integrity Initiative said.

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