The $100k Akufo-Addo access fees have been raising a lot of dust between the minority and majority…
It all started after news broke that the Trade Ministry collected some huge amounts of money between $25,000 and $100,000 from CEO’s of some companies to provide seats for them close to President Nana Akufo-Addo at the first ever Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA) gala held on December 8 at the Movenpick Hotel in Accra.
The disclosure was first made on the floor of the parliament by the Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak who provided a document signed by the deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Carlos Ahenkora and dated 23rd October, 2017 to substantiate his claims.
It was specifically revealed that CEO of Dream Reality and Inesfly, Mr Saeed Fakhri who was decorated by Akufo-Addo at the event, paid $100,000 to sit at the same round table with the President.
But the ministry in a sharp rebuttal, denied the claims, describing it as peddling of falsehood by the minority. It was however, later found that Muntaka’s claims were true, with the Trade Ministry now claiming their action never amounted to corruption, since the fees were just sponsorship which were not imposed on the businessmen and did not in any way influence who received awards or not at the event.
Deputy Trade Minister and North Tongu MP’s ‘Fight’
It was indeed a rain of insults from the Deputy Minister for Trade, Carlos Ahenkorah to NDC Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency Okudzeto Ablakwa on Tuesday, December 19, when the former barged into the latter’s interview. The bone of contention was nothing more than the ongoing $100k Akufo-Addo access fees controversy.
Ablakwa who was telling the media that the Trade Ministry’s action was sheer corruption was rudely interrupted by Ahenkorah who started calling him names ranging from thief to liar. He accused Ablakwa of speaking from his mind and having no facts to back his claims. According to the Deputy Trade Minister, the North Tongu MP has no moral right to accuse anyone of corruption, pointing out that he [Ablakwa] is a culprit.
But Okudzeto Ablakwa who insisted that he has facts and documents to back his claims was left with no other option than to walk out of the interview as Carlos Ahenkorahh continued to shout him down. He however made it clear that the Minister’s misbehaviour clearly indicates that he is uncomfortable with the exposé.
“You can tell from the Minister’s attitude that he is clearly uncomfortable with this matter and he stands exposed… I think as a public officer he has to behave himself,” Ablakwa said.
Listen to audio of the squabble by Citi FM:
Presidency has no Idea of $100k Akufo-Addo Access Fee
In an interview with Emefa Apawu on Accra-based Joy FM, Communications Director at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin said that neither the President nor his office are aware that some amount of money was collected from businessmen to sit by him at the GEBA event.
Buttressing his point, Mr. Arhin said that they at they presidency got the information on the floor of the parliament and on the media just like every other person did. He also disclosed that the President has summoned the Trade Minister to come and brief him on the matter at 5:00 pm today [Wednesday]. According to Arhin, it is after the meeting that the President will be able to make a statement on the issue.