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General News of Friday, 28 April 2017


Visa fraud: Boahen defends ex-MP

George Boakye's daughter got married in the UK when she travelled with her father George Boakye's daughter got married in the UK when she travelled with her father

George Boakye, a former MP for Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo Region, cannot be said to have been involved in visa fraud due to the circumstances surrounding the trip he undertook to the UK with his daughter, Nana Obiri Boahen, the Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said.

According to him, the daughter of the former lawmaker got married in the UK when she travelled with her father, hence overstayed the number of days.

The former lawmaker, together with three sitting MPs, have been cited in separate alleged visa offences by the UK government and a 10-year visa ban placed on them.

The three others are Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region; Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Asutifi North (Ntotroso) in the Brong Ahafo Region; and Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West in the Ashanti Region.

A confidential letter written to the Speaker of Parliament by the UK government through the UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Jon Benjamin, said the four MPs violated UK visa regulations on different occasions by either providing false information for their visa applications or facilitating the visas of some relatives who overstayed their visas in the UK.

However, speaking in an interview with Accra News’ Nana Ama Osei Tutu on Thursday April 27, Mr Obiri Boahen said: “I was shocked upon hearing the story. However, after a cursory look at the letter, I did not see any fraud in the matter.

“Let me use George Boakye’s case as an example. Here is an MP who travelled to the United Kingdom with his daughter and the daughter got married to someone there, and so where is the fraudulent aspect of this?

“The daughter never came back because she got married and someone is imputing fraud on this matter. Where is the visa fraud in this with respect of George Boakye’s case? For the others, I haven’t read theirs but I do not see any visa fraud in the case of Boakye George.”

He added: “The way the UK High Commissioner handled the matter was not the best. He should have written to the Foreign Affairs and Interior ministries, then to the Speaker of Parliament for them to handle, rather than leaking it to the public.

“This is so unfair to the people involved.”

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