The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, says he feels vindicated because the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah had confirmed that monies were collected from expats at the 2017 GEBA awards.
Speaking to Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm after taking his turn before the five-member committee probing the cash-for-seat-saga, the MP for Asawase said, I have provided the committee with interview the Deputy Minister had with Accra based Joy Fm.
The MP has alleged in a statement that expatriate businesses were asked to pay between $100,000 and $25,000 to determine how close they sit to President Akufo-Addo during a recent Ghana Expatriate Business Awards held on December 2, 2017.
Mr Ahenkorah had explained that, upon the conception of the novel idea, the Foundation informed the government, through the Presidency and further sought partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the organisation of the first-ever award event, targeted at recognizing and rewarding the contributions of the expatriate and naturalised expatriate community to the socio-economic advancement of the country over the decades.
He insisted that the Ministry of Trade and Industry did not sanction or collect any money from any expatriate businesses in the country.
He said event organisers had sought for sponsorship from the expatriate business community to set the awards.
Mr Ahenkorah also noted the event organisers set their own rates ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to raise funds from the expatriate businesses to sponsor the awards.
He said the Ministry of Trade and Industry only signed an MOU with the event organisers and has nothing to with the raising of the sponsorship for the programme.
Commenting on this, Mr. Mubarak said that ‘’was a big vindication for me because I have always insisted that, I knew someone paid $100,000. They denied but I kept pushing and they came out to clarify that although people paid some amount of money, it was not $100,000. The Deputy Minister vindicated me by confirming the amount. The question we should ask is whether it was proper for people to pay before sitting close to the president?
He also quizzed if Ghanaians will believe claims by officials that the presidency was unaware of the collection considering the contradictions.
Mr. Mubarak said the process will give us the opportunity to formulate laws in dealing with such issues and for him, ‘’this is a big victory for our democracy’’ no matter where the axe falls.
He further expressed his disappointment in the committee for some of the questions posed.
Some of the committee members wanted to aggravate the confusion surrounding the saga, he opined.
He concluded by emphasizing that, ‘’it has been established beyond reasonable doubt that, monies were collected. How much money did they raise? How much did they use? Did they breach any processes in the collection?
The Ghana Expatriate Business Awards is the brainchild of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, an entity noted for its prowess and credibility in the organisation of world-class events such as the Millennium Excellence Awards and the Accra Marathon.