The Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, has described as “thorough” the presidency’s investigation into what has become to be known as the ‘Cash-for-seats’ saga.
The Trade Ministry last year received a barrage of criticism from the Minority in Parliament for allegedly extorting as much as $100.000.00 from expatriates business moguls before they could sit close to President Akufo-Addo at the Ghana Expatriates Business Awards organized by the Millennium Excellence Foundation.
It is recalled that when the news of the scandal broke, the presidency summoned Mr. Kyerematen to provide answers. The presidency then through the Information Ministry later issued a statement clearing officials of the ministry of any wrongdoing after Mr. Kyerematen had provided explanations to the President.
“The facts, as reported to the president, do not disclose any wrongdoing on the part of the Minister or any government official,” the President said in a statement signed by the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid.
The Minority, however, rejected the presidency’s exoneration of the Ministry of any wrongdoing, pushing for the establishment of a bipartisan five-member parliamentary committee to further probe the scandal.
“It is my very humble view that this cannot constitute a full investigation into this matter, and, so, it is really imperative that this House carries out its investigative and oversight duties in delving into this matter,” the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa told the committee when he appeared before it Thursday, January 11, 2018.
He added: “It’s clear that there was no thorough investigation, no crosschecking, others were not engaged and this was put out.”
But, in a sharp reply when he appeared before the Committee Friday, January 12, 2018 Mr. Kyerematen dismissed the Minority’s claims as untenable.
After telling the committee earlier that he was clear in his mind that the Ministry did not err during the organisation of the awards, he insisted, “The [presidency’s] investigation was thorough.”
“I was written to and this was made public knowledge and I responded and after the response an official statement was issued by the Minister of Information. So I have no reason [but] to believe that it was a thorough investigation,” he added.