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General News of Tuesday, 9 January 2018


Public sitting for ‘Seat-for-Cash’ probe

The sitting of the five-member ad hoc committee constituted by parliament to investigate the alleged extortion of $100,000 from some expatriate businessmen to sit with the President at an awards dinner will be done in the open.

This was disclosed by spokesperson for the committee, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Member of Parliament (MP) for Adentan, and member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament.

According to him, the committee’s sitting would be made public, giving Ghanaians the opportunity to have up-date details of its work.

The decision by the committee to go public with its sittings will allow for transparency in the proceedings.

However, it is not clear whether the sittings will be televised.

Mr Buaben Asamoa said the 5-member committee would start sitting on Thursday, January 11, 2018, to enable it complete its assignment on time.

He asked anybody who can furnish the committee with information to do so.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) last month claimed the expatriate business community paid between $15,000 and $100,000 to have dinner with the president.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, was subsequently summoned by President Akufo-Addo to explain the allegation.

The minister later cleared the air about the brouhaha, dismissing any wrongdoing.

In a statement on the issue in response to a query from President Akufo-Addo, Mr Alan Kyerematen said that the president was only invited to the function as a special guest of honour – an invitation which he said the president graciously honoured.

The minority members, led by their chief whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, on December 27, 2017 filed an urgent motion asking parliament to investigate the allegation.

A five-member committee was subsequently constituted by the speaker, Prof Mike Oquaye, to probe the matter and is expected to submit its report to parliament a day after its resumption on January 24, 2018.

The Committee is made up of Majority Chief Whip and NPP Member of Parliament for Sunyani East, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh; Chairman of the Finance Committee and MP for New Juaben South, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah; Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoah; deputy minority leader and MP for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi and MP for Bolgatanga East and deputy ranking member of the Committee of Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Dominic Ayine.