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General News of Saturday, 7 July 2018


Dissent in cash-for-seat report was contrived – Deputy Speaker

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament has rubbished the Minority’s disagreement to the official report on the cash-for-seat probe.

Joseph Osei Owusu said the dissent expressed in the report of the minority parliamentarians on the committee which cleared the Trades Ministry of any wrongdoing was clearly contrived.

Speaking to Joy News’ Daniel Dadzie at the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Delegates Conference in the Eastern Regional capital, Koforidua Saturday, Mr Osei Owusu noted that the National Democratic Congress’s (NDC) disagreements with the findings of the committee are clearly misplaced.

“Sometimes what we call dissent are contrived and in this particular case, I will say it openly that the so called dissent was contrived” he unequivocally said.

The First Deputy Speaker added that it was the NDC MPs who made the allegations and it was their responsibility to prove same but the evidence they provided didn’t hold water.

“The evidence they brought should have met certain criteria and by the time [while the probe was ongoing] many people said you guys are wasting public funds,” he said.

He, however, added that Ghana is a democratic state and it is in the right of the NDC to dissent to whatever they wish to so he wasn’t perturbed.

“…So if they say they are dissenting, what can anybody say,” Mr Osei Owusu added.

Some NDC MPs led by the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed in 2017 accused the Trades Ministry of selling access to the Presidency.

According to him, the Ministry charged expatriate businesses various sums of money to attend an awards ceremony and to sit close to President Akufo-Addo.

The monies ranged from $15,000 to $100,000 depending on the proximity the business representative gets to sit to the President.

Both the Ministry and the organisers of the awards ceremony, Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF) vehemently denied the accusations and accused the NDC of mischief.

President of the MEF, Ashim Morton, stated in a communique that the ‘President’s seat’ in the letter requesting for the monies to be paid was in reference to him and not president Akufo-Addo.

The Special Parliamentary Committee subsequently exonerated the Trades Minister, Alan Kyerematen of any wrongdoing.

The Minority on the committee, however, disagreed with the official report; saying that they were not given a chance to add their dissenting opinion.