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General News of Friday, 28 April 2017


Visa fraud: Speaker urges MPs to be temporate – Kate Addo

Parliament Acting Director of Public Affairs, Kate Addo Parliament Acting Director of Public Affairs, Kate Addo

The Speaker of Parliament has urged Members of Parliament to be temporate in their comments on the matter of alleged visa fraud against some Members of the House.

According to the Speaker the issue is currently being handled diplomatically therefore Members of Parliament should remain calm as an amicable solution is found.

This was revealed in an interaction with Parliament’s Acting Director of Public Affairs, Kate Addo, who also reiterated the Speaker's commitment to ensuring that all parties involved in the issue are given fair hearing.

“The Speaker has explained that these are matters that border on diplomacy and they are best handled at that level and as best as possible members desist from making open comments on the matter. He has promised to conclude deliberations on the issues based on the responses from both sides.”

She also expressed the Speaker’s desire to amicably address the issue so as to ensure that the integrity and dignity of the House is intact and not affected by this issue.

On Wednesday, a letter written in confidence to the Speaker of Parliament by British authorities was leaked into the public space.

The letter detailed that three sitting Members of Parliament and a former MP have been cited by the British authorities for allegedly perpetrating visa fraud using their diplomatic passports.

The MPs cited are Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region, Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Ntotroso in the Bono Ahafo region, Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West, in the Ashanti Region and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Bono Ahafo region.

A confidential letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, by the British High Commission detailed the instances of abuses by the MPs in question.

Kate Addo also reiterated the Speaker's wish to ensure that law is adhered to and those who are wrong are dealt with as stipulated and all diplomatic sanctions enforced.

The British High Commission and the High Commissioner have declined to comment on the on-going matter.
This is because the British High Commission does not as a matter of policy, comment on leaked documents.

It remains uncertain who leaked the document.