Parliament sets up committee to investigate 'cash for seat' saga

Parliament sets up committee to investigate 'cash for seat' saga

-Parliament has set a committee to investigate 'cash for seat' scandal

-The five-member committee was set up after a lengthy debate over the Minority's motion

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Parliament has set a five-member committee to investigate allegations of extortion against the Ministry of Trade.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen
Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen

The Ministry was accused by of extorting between $25,000 to $100,000 from businessmen who wanted to sit close to President Nana Akufo-Addo during the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA).

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Immediately after the news became public, President Akufo-Addo summoned the substantive minister, Alan Kyerematen who explained that it was not extortion but a form of fund raising after which he was cleared by the presidency.

But the Minority which made the allegations felt an independent body should conduct investigations and thus filed a motion for the Speaker to recall Parliament from recess to debate the setting up of an investigative committee.

At the emergency sitting on Friday, there was a heated debate over the motion. While the Majority argued that it was incompetent because of the lack of some signatories, the Minority felt otherwise saying the signatures present were enough to make the motion competent.

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After a lengthy debate, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye who found some "procedural errors" in the motion, adjourned sitting for 30 minutes for some corrections to be made.

When sitting resumed, Prof Ocquaye ruled that the committee be set up to investgate the allegations.

He pointed out that though the motion was not competent enough, his ruling was based on the "best and overall interest of the Republic".

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The five member committee consists of Chip Whip Kwesi Ameyaw Chiremeh, Mark Assibey Yeboah and Yaw Buaben Asamoah while the Minority has Deputy Leader James Klutse Avedzi and Dominic Ayine.

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