Cash-for-seat Committee lays report before Parliament

BY: Musah Yahya Jafaru
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh (2nd left)
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh (2nd left)

The five-member special committee that investigated the cash-for-seat saga involving the Ministry of Trade and Industry laid its report in Parliament on Friday.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, laid the report which will be debated  on Tuesday, February 6, 2018.

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When contacted by journalists, Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh, who is also the Majority Chief Whip, declined to give any highlights of the report insisting that it would be read in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, directed the formation of the committee after a debate on a motion on the subject matter moved by the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, at an emergency sitting of Parliament.

Alhaji Muntaka requested an emergency sitting to consider a motion for a Parliamentary probe into the purported sale of seats at an event for participants to sit close to the President.

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The allegation is that the Ministry of Trade and Industry was involved in the collection of between $15,000 and $100,000 from expatriate businesses to secure them a seat at the table of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards in Accra on December 8, 2017 .

Following the allegations, the presidency initiated an investigation into the matter by seeking explanations from the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen.

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After the investigations, the presidency cleared the Ministry of Trade and Industry of any wrongdoing in the matter.

Terms of reference

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

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

As part of the investigation, the Majority chief Whip and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase, Alhaji Muntaka, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu, Mr Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, and officials of the event organising company appeared before the committee at a public hearing.

Other members of the committee are the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, the MP for Adentan, Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoah, the Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi, and the MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr Dominic Ayine, as members.