In what may be a boost to the Minority’s push for a probe into the cash-for-seat scandal, Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul is urging the Speaker to allow his colleagues on the other side to move the motion on the floor and to allow the probe they so desperately demand.
He told Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo any good speaker will give the opportunity to the Minority at least to be heard on a matter of public interest.
He is confident nothing will come out of the probe even if the wish of the Minority were to be granted.
He was speaking minutes away from what is likely to be the first heated debate on the floor triggered by a Minority’s call for an emergency sitting on the controversial cash-for-seat scandal.
The Trades Ministry has been accused of extorting up to $100,000 from expatriate businessmen and women to buy seats closer to the president during the Expatriate business award ceremony held on December 8, 2017.
The closer the seat to the president, the higher the amount demanded as sponsorship sum.
The Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak raised the issue on the floor and demanded an explanation from the ministry and the presidency.
The president instructed the Trades Ministry to brief him on the matter and to explain the circumstances under which his office was used as a souvenir to raise funds for the organization of the awards ceremony.
As a sponsorship benefit, the sponsors were entitled to a one-day meeting with the president, something, he the president said he was completely unaware of.
After hearing from the Trades Minister, Alan Kyeremanten, the president said he was convinced nothing untoward happened and instructed the sector Minister to explain to Ghanaians exactly what transpired.
The Minister issued a statement in an attempt to explain away what happened. But many Ghanaians, particularly, the Minority do not appear to be convinced.
Even though Parliament is in recess, Muntaka Mubarak has triggered an emergency sitting with a motion sent to the Speaker on December 27, 2017
The Speaker scheduled Friday, January 5, 2018, for the emergency sitting. The views from the house over the emergency sitting have been mixed.
Some members of the Majority insist the emergency sitting is a complete waste of resources because MPs would have to be transported from their constituencies for a sitting that is likely to go nowhere.
They have cited examples in the previous Parliament in which the NDC majority shot down two attempts by the then NPP minority for an emergency sitting, during Merchant Bank sale to Fortiz and Ford Expedition scandals.
But the Minority side insists the two scenarios were completely different. North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is accusing the Trades Ministry of “clear profiteering” using the name of the presidency and wants a probe to be instituted.
Departing from the majority view, Dominic Nitiwul says the Minority should at least be heard on the matter.
He was the one, who moved a motion for the Merchant Bank sale to Fortiz to be investigated but the then Speaker Doe Adjaho shot the motion down without even allowing it to be moved on the floor.
He said Doe Adjaho’s conduct at the time was completely “unethical” and would not want the current Speaker to act in the same manner.
Even though he believes the action by the Minority is a waste of resources he would rather have their views to be heard.
“Allow the Minority to move the motion, listen to them,” he pleaded with the Speaker.
Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo says the MPs are ready and at any time sitting will begin.
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