General News of Thursday, 21 December 2017
The Minority in Parliament is ready to appear before any investigative body to provide evidence of extortion in the allegations against the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Millennium Excellence Foundation, the MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has disclosed.
He contended that the Millennium Excellence Foundation was only dancing around the truth in its recent denial of the allegations.
The President of the Foundation, Ashim Morton, refuted the allegations that the Ministry of Trade and Industry charged expatriates between $25,000 and $100,000 to enable them to sit close to the President at the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards on December 8.
But speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Ablakwa said Mr. Morton was only trying to be clever with his response.
“He [Mr. Morton] says that of the funds collected, nobody paid before the event. He is choosing his words, playing smart with us by saying that nobody paid before the event because he knows we have receipts that we will be putting out of people who paid and the dates the receipts were issued. He is trying to play clever saying that nobody paid before the event, so how about after?”
Mr. Ablakwa remains confident in these allegations, which were first trumpeted by the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, and he noted that “every single claim we [the Minority] have made has been checked out so far.”
According to the MP, the only reason the Minority has not released the evidence is in the interest of the supposed victims of extortion.
“We do not think that, strategically and to be fair to the expatriate community that has worked with us and companies that have been really ticked off by this extortionist scam, we don’t think it will be fair to list their companies and to mention their names.”
But the Minority is ready to appear before “any investigative body that wants to take this matter up seriously and over there, we will send the receipts and all the other information that we have,” Mr. Ablakwa said.
The back and forth over the allegations took a heated turn when the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah, clashed with Mr. Ablakwa in Parliament.
This was followed by President Akufo-Addo writing to the Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten, demanding answers from him over the allegations.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has since dissociated itself from the claims by the Minority.