Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday February 09, 2018
Lawyers for the Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF) are threatening to sue two opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament over their conducts in the cash-for-seat claim.
According to the MEF lead counsel Peter Zwennes, the two: Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak (Minority Chief Whip) and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs) have continuously churned out what he called “irresponsible and destructive falsehood” against his clients since the cash for seat issue came up and they were going to take legal action against them.
At a news conference in Accra on Tuesday, Mr. Zwennes said they were going to seek permission from the Speaker of Parliament to drag the two MPs to court to prove their claims against leading members of the MEF, the organization that hosted the 2017 Ghana Expatriates Business Awards on December 4, last year.
“The propagation of such irresponsible and destructive falsehood made against my client should not be availed the cloak of parliamentary immunity which if it had been said in anywhere else in the open will certainly be giving rise to a meritorious court action in defamation,” he fumed, adding “the foundation is still considering its options and they are still available to us.”
He said despite the exoneration of the foundation, its president, Ashim Morton, feels the reputation he has built for himself within a period of twenty years has been affected.
“Despite the untruths now having been laid to rest and though much gladdened by his exoneration, my client has found that this acquittal has come at a heavy cost to his hitherto unsullied and unquestionable reputation.”
“This not to mention the heavy cost that these false allegations have caused the country also to suffer in terms of the commitment of foreigners towards foreign direct investments, market confidence, and the image of the leadership of the Republic of Ghana on the international scene”
“After steadily building up his reputation of integrity over a period nearing two decades, it is an abysmal shame for the foundation to realize that some choose merely to see it as an institution worthy of sacrifice on the altar of common mischief for the sake of what they see as political expediency,” he added.
The MEF held the news conference after the five-member Parliamentary Committee set up by the Speaker to investigate the Minority’s claim that during Ghana Expatriates Business Awards, all those who sat close to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo were charged between $25,000 and $100,000, submitted its report on the floor of the house.
The special parliamentary ad hoc committee after a thorough investigation, some of which were telecast live, exonerated officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Millennium Excellence Foundation because there was no extortion as claimed by the NDC Minority.
There was confusion when the minority said its members on the committee wrote their own report called ‘Minority Report’ that sought to challenge the findings of the committee.
Later, Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, whose ministry was tagged as ‘extortionists’ said the NDC MPs caused financial loss to the state through their motion to recall parliament to set up the committee to investigate the allegation which turned out to be bogus.
He insisted that the emergency recall of the house to discuss the matter was unnecessary saying “it may be possible that the associated cost for recalling this may be a case of causing financial loss.”
However, the minority was adamant and even left the floor of the house by boycotting the debate on Cash-for-Seat Committee Report.
Yesterday, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, Chairman of the Parliamentary Investigative Committee that looked into the issues recounted how members of the minority on the committee ‘played games’ with them when they were concluding their report.
He specifically mentioned on radio that Dr. Dominic A. Ayine, NDC MP for Bolga East, who was part of the committee, representing the minority, was disingenuous in his dealings with the committee members when they were compiling the final report.
He also said another NDC MP on the committee James Klutse Avedzi left the committee’s work and travelled to Uganda on an assignment, saying “I was supposed to travel to the United States but I had to prioritize the committee’s work but he could not; maybe it was because of the per diem.”
Two other majority members on the committee were Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah and Yaw Buaben Asamoa.