Akufo-Addo clears Trade Ministry on ‘$100k presidential seat’ cash allegations…
President Nana Akufo-Addo has released his statement on the ongoing $100,000-for -presidential seat controversy. This was after the president was briefed by the Trade Ministry on the issue on Wednesday, 20th December.
According to the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid who relayed Nana Addo’s response on Thursday, facts presented to the president on the matter does not point to any wrongdoing on the path of the Trade Ministry or the Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF).
The President’s comments come days after both the Ministry of Trade and the Millennium Excellence Foundation, a non-governmental organisation who partnered to organise the first ever Ghana Business Expatriates Awards (GEBA), were accused of collecting $100,000 from some expatriate CEOs to enable them sit at the same table with President Nana Akufo-Addo at the awards event held at the Movenpick hotel in Accra, on 8th December, 2017.
The alleged act which was first blown open by the the Member of Parliament for Asawase constituency, Mubarak Muntaka, has since drawn the criticism of members of the minority who have described it as sheer corruption, demanding a parliamentary probe to dig out the real facts of the issue.
The minority spokesperson on foreign affairs, and MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who had a near fight with the Deputy Trade Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah over the issue, specifically demanded that the presidency gives its statement on the matter, leading to the above reaction from Nana Addo.
Although the Deputy Minister for Trade, Carlos Ahenkorah and the President of MEF, Ashim Morton both admitted that some cash were collected from the businessmen, they insisted that it was a form of sponsorship from the expatriates and not necessarily to have them sit at table with the president. They further argued that the monies were not imposed on the companies but were paid out of free will.
Mr. Ashim Morton further noted that the “president” in the ‘presidential gold table’ offer was actually refferring to himself as MEF president and not the President of the Republic of Ghana as he (Akuvo-Addo) was not billed to attend the awards event. He said he only relinquished the position when President Akufo-Addo later indicated interest in attending. Read more of MEF and Trade Ministry’s defense….
Following Nana Addo’s response to the $100,000 presidential table cash allegations, aggrieved minority members of Parliament rejected his statement, describing it as a complete cover up.
Speaking in an interview with Joy FM’s Evans Mensah on the Top Story programme, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mohammed insisted that a parliamentary probe would have exposed a lot of things which have been left to go unrevealed per the president’s closure on the matter. He further accused Nana Addo of insulting the intelligence of Ghanaians by clearing the Trade Ministry of any wrongdoing.
In addition, Okudzeto Ablakwa who pointed out that the failure to find out the facts through a parliamentary probe is not in the interest of the president, has indicated that he will sue Carlos Ahenkorah for abusing him over the scandal.