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General News of Tuesday, 9 January 2018


Cash-for-seat : You pay to sit by Trump - NPP MP

Member of Parliament for the Tarkwa- Nsuaem Constituency in the Western Region, Mr. George Mireku Duker, has justified the alleged cash-for-seat, saying the practice “ it is a convention at the White House to pay to sit close to the President at public functions.”

The two–time Municipal Chief Executive made the comment Tuesday on Atinka TV’s Ghana Nie hosted by Bismark Brown.

According to him, there is nothing wrong with the practice, adding that, it is common in the “USA where high profile personalities pay to sit by Presidents”. He disclosed that the practice is christened Gold plate offer.

In a sharp rebuttal, Deputy Communications Director of the opposition National Democratic (NDC), Mr. Kwaku Boahen said the conduct of the Trade Ministry was a clear case of extortion.

There has been public outrage over claims that the Trade Ministry extorted $100,000 from expatriates for a "presidential seat" at the recently held Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA).

Deputy Trade Minister Carlos Ahenkorah has admitted that some monies were taken from expatriates, but said they were later transferred into the account of the organizers of the event, Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF).

Meanwhile, Parliament on Friday set up a five-member special ad-hoc committee to investigate the cash-for-seat saga involving the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The committee is to investigate whether any levy had been imposed on the expatriates and the collection of same.

It will also investigate how payments were disbursed and whether the disbursements offended any laws.

The committee is to also investigate when the matter arose, whether it could be perceived to be something new that has arisen; whether the matter could have been raised during the regular sitting and also whether the matter had been raised during the last session.

The committee, which is to present its report to Parliament on January 24, 2018, has the Majority Chief Whip, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, as the Chairman with Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Chairman of the Finance Committee, the MP for Ademtan, Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoa, the Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi, and the MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr Dominic Ayine as members.