General News of Sunday, 24 December 2017
The minority in Parliament has served notice that they have more documents to prove that the Ministry of Trade and Industry illegally took monies ranging from $25,000 – $100,000 from expats to give them access to the president.
Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on Friday morning disclosed that they (Minority) are not relenting on getting to the bottom of the matter to prove a point even after the presidency has cleared the ministry.
“We have made the initial sets available. We put out the documents that relate to the letter that Mr Carlos Ahenkora signed… we also put up the entire sponsorship package and the people who paid, we still have some other documentation that we have not put out,” he told Kofi Oppong Asamoah on the Morning Xpress.
His comments come after the president, Nana Akufo-Addo cleared the Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen of any wrongdoing regarding the controversial matter.
The president believes the information available to him on the controversial $100,000 scandal did not suggest any wrongdoing.
In a statement signed by Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, on Thursday, said: “the facts, as reported to the president, do not disclose any wrongdoing on the part of the Minister or any government official.”
But Mr Ablakwa who kicked against the president’s response said they “were hoping that the president would have triggered a national enquiry” to investigate the allegations so they could present their documents to get the matter tackled, but since that did not happen, the minority has no option than to take the issue up with the documents that are available to them.
“We are now going for a bi-partisan parliamentary enquiry. We can assure you that we are not going to allow this documentation we have to go waste including receipts we have,” stressed Mr Ablakwa who is also the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The former deputy minister of Education said, the minority would not allow the presidency to “shamefully” dabble in corruption, stating any of the former presidents would have sanctioned the actors of the extortion rather than exonerating them within a shortest possible time adding that the clearance of the sector minister is rather raising questions about the president’s ability to deal with rot in his government.
President losing grips on corruption fight
Meanwhile, anti-corruption campaigner and a former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Vitus Azeem, has disclosed that President Akufo-Addo is losing his grips on corruption fight in the country.
He was speaking on the Morning Xpress on Friday following the clearance of the Trade minister by the president after allegations that the ministry had extorted some monies from expats to sit close to the president at the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA).
The minority Chief whip, Mubarak Muntaka had questioned the eligibility of the monies that were collected and vowed to lead the minority to relentlessly pursue the matter.
But Mr Azeem stated that the president’s clearance is not convincing enough to clear the issue off the minds of well-meaning Ghanaians who may have voted for Mr Akufo-Addo because of his assurances on corruption fight during the 2016 electioneering.
“That’s the president view but that doesn’t convince some of us. How can he say there is no wrongdoing at all?” He said and noted that there was a letter bearing the letterhead of the Ministry of Trade and Industry asking for such payments to be made which, to him, was not right and needs to be condemned strongly.
“I’m sure many Ghanaians voted for the change based on the promises that he (the president) made, now if he’s helping to make these public institutions unreliable . . . it’s not only affecting those institutions, but it is affecting the president himself,” added Mr Azeem.
The anti-corruption campaigner noted the president always calls for investigations when “there is a lot of noise” but the said issues don’t come out detailed for Ghanaians to be convinced which he thinks is putting the president’s image at stake in relation to fighting corruption.
He mentioned the infamous bribery allegations by musician ‘A Plus’ against the two deputy Chiefs of staff, Francis Asenso Boakye and Samuel Jinapor, as an issue that was not well investigated, and will be one of the sagas that will cast a slur on the president’s reputation.
“The A Plus case, CHRAJ indicated in their report they could not get the police report on the investigation,” he said.
This, Mr Azeem, said is making most citizens lose confidence in the president on issues of fighting corruption