General News of Thursday, 8 February 2018
Millennium Excellence Foundation, the organization that hosted the 2017 Ghana Expatriates Business Awards, has said it is considering a court action against two minority Members of Parliament (MPs) over the cash-for-seat allegations.
According to the lawyer for the foundation, Peter Zwennes, the MPs – Muntaka Mubarak and Okudzeto Ablakwa should be stripped of any parliamentary immunity to enable them drag them to court, because their actions were “irresponsible.”
“The propagation of such irresponsible and destructive falsehood made against my client should not be availed the cloak of parliamentary immunity which if had been said in anywhere else in the open will certainly be giving rise to a meritorious court action in defamation. The foundation is still considering its options and they are still available to us,” the lawyer stated at a press conference in Accra.
The Foundation’s press conference comes after a committee set up to investigate the claims exonerated them and the Trade Ministry.
The Millennium Excellence Foundation and the Trade Ministry were alleged to have charged between $25,000 and $100,000, to enable expatriates to sit close to the President at the Ghana Expatriates Business Awards held in December 2017.
A parliamentary committee investigating the matter subsequently cleared the indicted stakeholders of any wrongdoing, but the Minority insisted that something untoward happened.
The two minority members on the five member committee also released their version of report claiming the Majority tried to suppress the truth in the matter.
The Foundation’s lawyer said despite the exoneration of the foundation, its president, “Ashim Morton, feels the reputation he has built for himself within a period of twenty years has been affected”.
“Despite the untruths now having been laid to rest and though much gladdened by his exoneration, my client has found that this acquittal has come at a heavy cost to his hither to unsullied and unquestionable reputation. This not to mention the heavy cost that these false allegations have caused the country also to suffer in terms of the commitment of foreigners towards foreign direct investments, market confidence, and the image of the leadership of the republic of Ghana on the international scene.
“After steadily building up his reputation of integrity…over a period nearing two decades, it is an abysmal shame for the foundation to realize that some choose merely to see it as an institution worthy of sacrifice on the altar of common mischief for the sake of what they see as political expediency,” he added.