General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is certain that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is not committed to the fight against corruption.
According to the Ranking Member of Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, President Akufo-Addo’s rejection of a call by the Minority in Parliament to set up a probe into the purported acquisition of a chancellery for Ghana’s new mission in Oslo, the capital of Norway means the President cannot be relied on to expose matters of corruption in the country.
President Akufo-Addo has strongly rejected calls by the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament to launch an investigation into the purported acquisition of a chancellery for Ghana’s new mission in Oslo, the capital of Norway.
The President said the call for probe was an attempt by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to distract the government.
Speaking on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa said they will consider other options by requesting external support from the Norwegian Government to help in exposing the unknown buyer.
“Norwegian media says this transaction is so unethical and then our President is saying that there is no substance, just mere allegation. I know that if a probe is set up and the President investigates this matter, his government will be exposed and that is why he is avoiding that,” he asserted.
To him, it is clearly evidential that President Akufo-Addo is not committed to the fight against corruption; thus the government should not deliberately distort the substance of the allegation to mean that the Minority is accusing the government of paying $16.5 million to acquire a chancellery for Ghana’s new mission in Oslo.
“Nobody is saying government has paid all $16.5 million, but government has entered into a transaction and they were going to pay it before we caught them. We will meet on this matter today as a Minority and we will consider our options because we have seen clearly that the President cannot be relied on as an ally in the fight against corruption,” he stated.
He stressed that there are many unanswered questions regarding the acquisition of the chancellery.
He added that paragraph 419 of the document brought to Parliament for approval read that “government also opened a resident diplomatic nation in Oslo, Norway and two Consulates General in Port Louis in Mauritius and Guangzhou in China”.
He however wondered if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was misleading Parliament with the paragraph 419 as mentioned; quizzing, “so all the documents they brought to Parliament means what, just to play with Parliament? And it means they didn’t come for approval or what?”
“If we didn’t detect this, we would have given them the stamp of approval and they would have gone ahead to pay and engage in this transaction. Secondly, the documents they brought to Parliament for assessment show or mean that, we have done some expenditure. Ministry of Finance says that Ghc15.3 million has been released, and where is that release? If they claim the money is not in Norway then where is the money?”
No Payment Made
The Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway has insisted that no payment has been made for a Chancery and place of residence for Ghana’s Ambassador to Norway.
Answering a question on the issue at President Akufo-Addo’s end-of-year encounter with the media, Madam Botchway said the minority is just trying to deceive Ghanaians because the processes needed to be taken before approval of money for the purchase of the Chancery have not yet been done; as a result the allegation is neither here nor there.